Senior Republican says Obama is seeking a 'very moderate' Supreme Court justice
US President Barack Obama speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO summit in Manila on November 18, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

A senior Republican on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said on Thursday that President Barack Obama was looking for someone who was "very moderate" to be his nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

"He said he was going to try to find a justice who would be very moderate," Senator Orrin Hatch told Fox News Channel.

But Hatch said even if Obama were to put forward a Republican for the empty seat, the Senate should not consider it during "the throes of a very intense, and some people think horrific, presidential campaign."

Separately, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters she thought it would be a good idea for Obama to consider nominating a Republican.

(Reporting by Timothy Ahmann and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Susan Heavey)