Attorney General Loretta Lynch has taken her name out of the running for the Supreme Court seat left empty by the death of Antonin Scalia, asking the White House not to consider her for the nomination.
According to The Hill, Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman issued a statement today which said Lynch feels “the limitations inherent in the nomination process would curtail her effectiveness in her current role.”
Given the urgent issues before the Department of Justice, she asked not to be considered for the position.
While she is deeply grateful for the support and good wishes of all those who suggested her as a potential nominee, she is honored to serve as attorney general, and she is fully committed to carrying out the work of the Department of Justice for the remainder of her term.
Lynch is not the first potential nominee to take her name out of the proverbial hat as a potential nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Scalia’s unexpected death. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) declined a possible nomination last month after it was made known that he was being considered.
Senate Republicans have vowed to filibuster any name President Obama puts forth, and Sandoval’s nomination would have put both liberals and conservatives in a tricky spot. Democrats would have been faced with a conservative nominee who was named by a Democratic president they support, and Republicans would be faced with voting against someone of their own party for no other reason than that they don’t like the President who nominated him.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (Texas) told reporters on Monday that whoever Obama ended up nominating should “bear some resemblance to a piñata.”
What I don’t understand is how someone who actually wants to be confirmed to the Supreme Court would actually allow themselves to be used by the administration in a political fight that’s going to last from now until the end of the year.
Other names that have been given as possible contenders for the nomination include Judges Merrick Garland, Sri Srinivasan and Patricia Ann Millett, who all currently serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; as well as District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Paul Watford and Jane Kelly of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Last month, President Obama wrote in an op-ed for the SCOTUS blog that he was looking for a candidate with a “sterling record,” a “deep respect for the judiciary’s role” and an “understanding of the way the world really works.”
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