Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican who President Barack Obama was reportedly looking at as a potential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, said in a statement Thursday he did not want to be considered.
In the statement, tweeted by a reporter in Nevada, Sandoval said he spoke with Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. Dean Heller, R- Nev., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., telling them he was not interested in replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this month. “The notion of being considered for a seat on the highest court in the land is beyond humbling, and I am incredibly grateful to have been mentioned,” Sandoval said in the statement.
— Chris Erickson (@ChrisErick30) February 25, 2016
After Senate GOP leaders promised to block an Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, it was suggested that Sandoval’s nomination could be a way past the Republican roadblocks. He is a former federal judge in the state, and has a history of centrist opinions, the Washington Post reported.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest did not comment to the Post about the nomination process thus far. Heller said on Twitter after the news of Sandoval withdrawing his name that he has worked with the Nevada governor, and supported his decision to take his name out of the running.
“I hope the next President will consider him in the future,” Heller tweeted.
The GOP and Obama have been bitterly fighting over who will get to get the next Supreme Court justice through — Obama or the next president. Despite Republican opposition, Obama has said he wants to push forward with nominating a justice, and that it will be hard for McConnell to explain why he wouldn’t consider an Obama appointee without looking like he was politically motivated, CNN reported.