Republicans in the Senate have said they would block a U.S. Supreme Court nominee from President Barack Obama, but now the White House is reportedly looking into a centrist Republican — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval — to fill the seat vacated by the death of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, two sources familiar with the situation told the Washington Post Wednesday.
There has been talk in Washington, D.C., of the possibility of Sandoval appearing on Obama’s short list of nominees, but Sandoval told the Associated Press this weekend that, while he was honored to have his name floated as a successor, he has not heard anything from the Obama administration. Some Democrats have said that Sandoval may be the only way for Obama to get past the GOP wall in the Senate.
The White House has been adamant all week that Obama has no short list, and neither the White House nor Sandoval commented to the Post for the story. Sandoval reportedly met with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to discuss whether he would accept the nomination.
While he currently is serving as governor, he is a former judge, according to the Nevada government’s website. He became a U.S. District Judge for the District of Nevada in 2005, after being appointed by former President George W. Bush — making Sandoval the first person of Hispanic descent to be made a federal judge in the state — and he was elected attorney general of Nevada in 2002.
The Washington Post had floated Sandoval’s name as a potential candidate, saying he could make things uncomfortable for Republicans trying to block an Obama nominee because he has such qualifications. He is a noted moderate — supporting abortion rights and immigration reform — and is Hispanic, representing the diverse state of Nevada.
— Nolan D. McCaskill (@NolanDMcCaskill) February 24, 2016
GOP leaders in the Senate remain adamant about not discussing an Obama nominee; however, Obama told Republicans earlier Wednesday to fulfill their constitutional duties and consider his Supreme Court nominee, CBS News reported.