Justice says Scalia's death forced court to bridge divides

AP News
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Posted: May 01, 2017 9:35 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan says the nation's highest court learned important lessons about consensus building during the year it operated without a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia.

Kagan says in order to function courts need enough members to cast a tie-breaking vote. But the "silver lining" from the last year is justices were forced to listen, reason and persuade.

She says that's a valuable lesson at a time when the country is deeply divided along partisan lines.

Kagan made the remarks Monday while addressing a gathering of lawyers in Indianapolis, three weeks after Neil Gorsuch joined the court as the first nominee by President Donald Trump.

Gorsuch secured his spot after Republicans refused to hold hearings on former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, following Scalia's February 2016 death.