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Breyer Says He Won't Get Into Debate Over Court Vacancy

FILE - Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer says he won't get drawn into a political debate over filling the vacancy on the high court.

Breyer on Thursday declined to address comments from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who said Republicans might block a court nominee indefinitely if Democrat Hillary Clinton is elected president.

The 78-year-old justice told an audience at George Washington University he's going to stay “as far away from anything that's politically controversial as possible.”

Cruz on Wednesday noted Breyer's previous observations that the vacancy created after Antonin Scalia's death wasn't affecting the court's ability to do its job, and that only a few cases tied 4-4 without a ninth justice.

Asked whether the court could function four more years without filling vacancies, Breyer responded: “I didn't say that.”