U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has asked the White House to not consider her for the open seat on the Supreme Court, her spokeswoman said Tuesday. Lynch has decided that “limitations inherent in the nomination process would curtail her effectiveness in her current role,” according to Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus had urged that Lynch be picked to fill the seat on the Supreme Court. Caucus member Rep. Emanuel Cleaver reportedly argued that if President Barack Obama nominated Lynch, the fierce Republican opposition to an election-year judicial appointment would dissolve.
“Probably more than anyone else, she would, with open minds, sail through the Judiciary Committee and onto the floor for a vote,” Cleaver said, as the New York Post reported.
Supreme Court analyst Tom Goldstein also reportedly predicted that Lynch was the leading contender for the seat, which has been vacant since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last month. Goldstein wrote in a blog post that a Lynch nomination was a “very serious possibility.”
“The fact that Lynch was vetted so recently for attorney general also makes it practical for the president to nominate her in relatively short order,” Goldstein previously wrote.
The White House is reportedly considering almost half a dozen relatively new federal judges for Obama’s nomination for the open Supreme Court seat, according to the Washington Post. Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington is also reportedly being vetted for the seat. Meanwhile, the Senate’s Republican majority has vowed to ignore any nominee Obama proposes, arguing that the vacancy should not be filled until the U.S. has a new president. Democrats, however, have asserted that Scalia’s seat must be filled right away.