WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she's not interested in being nominated to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. She indicated that the uphill confirmation battle any nominee is likely to face would be a distraction from her job as the nation's top law enforcement official.
“As the conversation around the Supreme Court vacancy progressed, the Attorney General determined that the limitations inherent in the nomination process would curtail her effectiveness in her current role," Melanie Newman, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday. "Given the urgent issues before the Department of Justice, she asked not to be considered for the position."
While Lynch was "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," Newman said.
Some observers had considered Lynch to be one of the most likely nominees. But Senate Republicans have made it clear they won't consider anyone that President Barack Obama nominates to fill the vacancy in his last year in office. Lynch could have been the first black woman ever nominated to the position.