Brian Sandoval Takes Name Out Of Contention For Supreme Court

Brian Sandoval

Less than a day after his name was leaked as a possible Supreme Court nominee, and an intriguing one at that, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has asked that his name be taken out of consideration for the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the death of Antonin Scalia:

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) announced Thursday he was withdrawing his name from consideration as a possible Supreme Court nominee, just one day after it became public the White House was weighing whether to select him.

“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 said in a brief statement.”

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) met with Sandoval, a moderate who expanded Medicaid in his state and raised taxes to fund education efforts, to discuss whether he would be interested in filling the vacancy left by the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia. While the White House had considered the prospect of naming Sandoval, Senate Republicans declared Wednesday they would not hold a hearing even if he was nominated because they believe the next president should have the right to fill the seat on the Court.

Sandoval added he had spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.D) as well as Reid and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), whom the governor initially appointed to the Senate, before making his announcement.

“I have also spoken to Senators Reid, Heller and McConnell and expressed the same desire to them,” Sandoval said. “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.”

Asked about the governor’s decision Thursday afternoon, White House press secretary Josh Earnest declined to comment about the ongoing selection process.

As I noted yesterday, selecting Sandoval would have placed Senate Republicans in a particularly interesting political position vis a vis their “No Hearings, No Votes” strategy regarding the current Supreme Court vacancy, so for that reason alone it’s unfortunate that we’ll miss out on that particular bit of political theater. More likely than not, though, Sandoval’s phone was ringing off the hook after yesterday’s reports and he’s had conversations with top Republicans both inside and outside the Senate about all of this, and they convinced him not to put the party in the position of having to put him at the center of what is likely to be the biggest showdown between the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Federal Government in quite some time.

 

FILED UNDER: Congress, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    It wasn’t going to work. Sandoval, regardless what his political and ideological beliefs, is a Republican. He couldn’t allow himself to be used as a football, or a wedge, or whatever metaphor. And he couldn’t be neutral either.

  2. Stonetools says:

    Oh well , it was an epic piece of trolling while it lasted.
    Obama can now say that he would be even be wiling to consider a Rrpublican in an attempt to propose a candidate that the Republicans could accept but the Republicans preremptorily rejected even one of their own, so he is just going to pick the best person for the job. I expect he already has a person in mind and is just waiting for the right moment to announce – most likely sometime next week.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    Senate Republicans declared Wednesday they would not hold a hearing even if he (the Republican Sandoval) was nominated

    So it’s working so far. All the Ds have to do is whisper the name of a hypothetical nominee and the GOPs will demonstrate their craziness. I think the next leak should be “McConnell”.

    That said, the challenge is finding a solid nominee willing to say he’d accept and put up with the resulting scheissesturm.

  4. Joe says:

    I think gVOR08 has identified the only snag in Obama’s ability troll the Senate Republicans hard. Anyone who has real Supreme Court aspirations or even aspirations toward personal privacy or an opportunity for simple personal dignity is going to be hard pressed to explain to her/his spouse how accepting this nomination is a good idea.

  5. PJ says:

    @Joe:

    Anyone who has real Supreme Court aspirations or even aspirations toward personal privacy or an opportunity for simple personal dignity is going to be hard pressed to explain to her/his spouse how accepting this nomination is a good idea.

    I’d say that’s true for any Republicans, but then one is enough.

    It’s been reported that Sandoval met with Senate Democrats about it and that Senate Republicans stopped it, that’s enough. The Democrats showed that they wanted to compromise, and Republicans, as expected, flat out refused to. They won’t accept anything but Scalia 2.0.

    A liberal nominee could be promised that Clinton would nominate him or her after the election or that the Senate would confirm the nomination beetween January 6th and 20th if Democrats retake the Senate.

  6. Joe says:

    @PJ:

    A liberal nominee could be promised that Clinton would nominate him or her after the election or that the Senate would confirm the nomination between January 6th and 20th if Democrats retake the Senate.

    Promised by whom? I see no reason why Clinton (or Sanders) would make such a commitment for Obama’s benefit. They may all be Democrats, but they each have their own agendas. Betting on the Democrats to retake the Senate is an awful long shot to explain to your spouse.

    The conversation goes exactly like this:

    “Honey, the White House called to tell me I am on the short list and. . . .”
    “NO!”

  7. PJ says:

    @Joe:

    Promised by whom? I see no reason why Clinton (or Sanders) would make such a commitment for Obama’s benefit. They may all be Democrats, but they each have their own agendas. Betting on the Democrats to retake the Senate is an awful long shot to explain to your spouse.

    For Obama’s benefit? I was thinking more like Obama asking Clinton for people whom she’d be willing to nominate, and him picking one of them. Which would be a lot more like what he actually does.

    Also, I don’t think that a liberal judge being nominated to the Supreme Court by Obama and then refused to even have a hearing by Senate Republicans would be such a career killer as you seem to believe.

  8. ltmcdies says:

    well all you Clinton/Saunders supporters…here’s your reason to get off your collective duffs to vote in November.

    The GOP will not confirm or even hear anyone…so that seat is wide open.

    Who do you think Mrs. Trump/Rubio/Cruz will put there.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    Here’s how it went down:

    McConnell: “Brian, mother****er, if you’re even thinking of considering that nomination ….”
    Brian: “Me? Why would you even think that Obama would consider nominating me?”
    McConnell: “Because its been all over the news for 72 hours!”
    Brian: “Well … er … uh … you know the lame stream media … ha ha”
    McConnell: “You think this is funny, I amuse you?”
    Brian: “Uhh .. no … it’s just that …”
    McConnell: “Here’s what you’re going to do … Hey! … You listening to me?”
    (((slap))) (((slap)))
    Brian: “Ow .. What did I do?”
    (((slap))) (((slap)))
    McConnell: “Now shut the f*** up and listen. You’re going to call a press conference, and you’re going to say this *hands him some copy* understand?”
    Brian: *nods weakly*
    McConnell: (((slap))) (((slap)))
    Brian: “ohhhhhh”
    McConnell: “Oh f***ing what? *nods to his aide* “let’s get the f*** outta here.”

  10. James Pearce says:

    And Brian Sandoval was never heard from again…