ABC News learned Wednesday that Sandoval, 52, was among the names the White House was considering, according to a source close to the process.
Heller, Nevada’s junior senator, reacted to Sandoval’s decision, saying in a statement, “As a friend and former colleague of Governor Sandoval’s, I believe he is eminently qualified for this position. But, I support his decision to withdraw his name from consideration for the Supreme Court vacancy. I hope the next president will consider him in the future.”
Sandoval was on a list of recommended candidates for the court submitted by Democrat Reid to President Obama, the source said.
The source also said Sandoval, while not yet sure whether he would accept nomination, was allowing the vetting process to go forward.
“Neither Governor Sandoval nor his staff have been contacted by or talked to the Obama Administration regarding any potential vetting for the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court,” a spokeswoman for Sandoval told ABC News Wednesday.
All 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee had said Tuesday they would not hold a hearing or vote on a Supreme Court nominee selected by Obama, saying the nomination should be left to the next president.