"I happen to respect people who are willing to come under public scrutiny and serve their country," Sanders said.
"He and I had very different points of view, but I respect people who are willing to serve their country."
Scalia, a conservative firebrand on the court, died unexpectedly Saturday at a West Texas ranch. The vacancy he leaves on the bench has triggered an immediate political conflict, with Republicans calling for the Senate not to confirm a nominee before President Obama leaves office.
Sanders and Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton have criticized Republicans for threatening to block an Obama nominee.
"I think we want a full contingent on the United States Supreme Court," Sanders said on Fox. "We are dealing with enormously important issues, and the Constitution is pretty clear."