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GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval takes himself out of the running for SCOTUS

GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada on Thursday officially removed himself from the running for the Supreme Court nomination.

His decision came only a day after reports swirled about the White House vetting Sandoval for the open seat left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia who died Feb. 13.

"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 statement.

Sandoval also said he conveyed the same message to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, with whom he met on Monday in Washington, D.C., Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.

"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 added.

On Wednesday, CBS News confirmed that Sandoval was one of the people the White House had been eyeing. Sandoval has served as Nevada's governor since 2011 and the Senate unanimously confirmed him in 2005 after President George W. Bush nominated him to be a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, which he served as until 2009.

There has been speculation about several other potential nominees, but the White House has not revealed the list of names they're looking at. President Obama was seen walking along the White House colonnade from the Oval Office last Friday evening carrying a thick binder of Supreme Court materials.

Sandoval's decision also comes just a short while after Hillary Clinton told Democratic voters in South Carolina that she hopes President Obama winds up choosing a "true progressive" instead of someone like Sandoval.

The Senate has to confirm the person Mr. Obama nominates and earlier this week, the Senate Republican majority ruled out holding confirmation hearings and a vote for the nominee. They agreed they should wait to take any action until the next president is sworn in next January.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.