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Oct 17, 7:32 PM EDT

Sotomayor: US Supreme Court still feeling loss of Scalia

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor says the high court continues to deeply feel the loss of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Sotomayor said Monday at the University of Minnesota that the Supreme Court was designed to have nine justices to break ties. She says the justices are doing the best they can since Scalia's death in February. She says when the justices can find a narrow window of agreement, they use it.

Sotomayor did not directly address how filling Scalia's seat has become a divisive issue in the presidential race. But she says the justices need to be a court of nine, not eight, to do their job properly.

The Republican-controlled Senate has so far refused to act on President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Scalia.

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