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Sandoval speaks about Supreme Court seat

Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-07 21:38:00-05

13 Action News is hearing for the first time from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval about his name being thrown out there for the vacant position on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The governor was in Las Vegas on Monday and Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears asked him straight up about pulling his name out of the running for that seat.

Gov. Sandoval said he's humbled and honored to even be considered, but he's much more interested in being Nevada's governor than the nation's next high court justice.

News first broke last week that the Republican governor was being considered to fill the vacancy left by late Justice Antonin Scalia. 

Rumors swirled for about 24 hours before Sandoval withdrew his name from consideration.

Darcy Spears: Why did you pull your name out?
Gov. Brian Sandoval: Well, it just isn't a good time. Everybody knows that right now the president wants to provide a nomination. The senate has said that it's not going to consider any nominations. So, given the environment, I just thought it was in the best interests of everyone that I--again--withdraw my name and focus on my duties as governor.

Sandoval's conservative but moderate views and potentially broad appeal caused many to believe he would be used by the Obama administration as a political pawn designed to force the senate's hand. 

So what does he think?

"You know, I'm not going to speculate on that issue again. It was just an extreme honor for me. As a former federal judge myself, as somebody who's had just a profound respect for the U.S. Supreme Court--I mean, I'm a person who used to go and just sit and watch, just so that I could see it happen--that's as far as it goes. With regard to anybody's motivations, I don't know."

When asked whether the governor would consider a Supreme Court nomination in the future, he said he'd cross that bridge when and if it comes.