ST. PAUL, Minn. -- U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's name is already floating around as a possible replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
The longest serving justice of the current court died Saturday. Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara told WFAA that Scalia died of a heart attack.
"Scalia has clearly molded the court across a range of issues," said David Schultz, a Hamline University professor and political analyst. Schultz is the co-author of the book "The Jurisprudential Vision of Justice Antonin Scalia."
Schultz says the vacancy challenges the balance of power with a now split Supreme Court. For three decades, Justice Scalia was a consistent conservative voice on the court. There is now a possibility for a liberal majority.
"This gives the president of the United States an opportunity to shift the balance of the U.S. Supreme Court, literally for a generation," Schultz said.
President Barack Obama said he will appoint a nominee in due time but leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate say Obama's successor should be in charge of filling the seat.
USA Today, CNN and Vox all name Sen. Klobuchar in their top 10 potential justices. Sen. Klobuchar is a former prosecutor and currently serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Generally, the argument is that senators might like to sort of confirm one of their own or she has a greater chance in a very deadlocked Senate of being able to get through because she's a senator. She's also well liked by both Democrats and Republicans," Schultz explained.
Sen. Klobuchar was on the short list when there was a vacancy in 2010. But Republican Tim Pawlenty was governor then. This time around, Gov. Mark Dayton would be able to appoint another Democrat to fill the senate position.
"So the politics are slightly different now than they were the last time she was considered. Now does this guarantee she would get the nomination? No. But she's clearly high up on the list of possibilities," Schultz said.
Sen. Klobuchar's office declined to comment on the matter but the senator did release a statement regarding Justice Scalia's passing that said, "My condolences and prayers are with the Scalia family and his friends and colleagues on the Supreme Court."