Nevada governor pulls name from Supreme Court consideration

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada's Republican governor said Thursday he is not interested in being considered for the U.S. Supreme Court at this time, and he has told the White House so.

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Brian Sandoval, Nevada's first Hispanic governor and a supporter of abortion rights, issued a statement the day after The Washington Post reported the White House was considering him as a potential replacement for the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

The choice of Sandoval could have given President Barack Obama a chance at breaking Senate Republicans' planned blockade of any election-year confirmation.

"Earlier today, I notified the White House that I do not wish to be considered at this time for possible nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States," Sandoval wrote. "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."

He offered no reason for his decision. Sandoval, 52, is a former federal judge and popular second-term governor.

Obama is likely to nominate someone in the next few weeks.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest declined to comment, saying he would not offer detailed updates on the president's short list. Earnest said Obama is still reviewing material on potential candidates and consulting with lawmakers.

Republican senators insist that voters in November and the next president should make the lifetime appointment to replace Scalia.

On Thursday, about two dozen Democratic senators stood outside the Supreme Court and called on Republicans to consider an Obama nominee.

Associated Press writers Alan Fram in Washington and Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada contributed to this report.


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