Despite the fact that Senate Republicans have vowed to not even hold hearings for any Obama nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this month, the president is forging ahead. The Washington Post reports that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) is being considered by the White House as a possible nominee to replace the late Scalia, who was the court's leading conservative voice.
But would the nomination of a moderate Republican like Sandoval change things for the Senate GOP? One Republican senator speaking off the record told The Washington Post that nominating Sandoval would "mix it up" for Republicans opposed to any Obama pick. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — a centrist like Sandoval who is opposed to her party's strategy of blocking any Obama nomination — told The Washington Post that a potential Sandoval nomination "is one reason why I have not wanted to shut the door on considering a nominee."
"We may well be sent a nominee who is deserving of thorough vetting and consideration," Collins added.
One individual who's signaled interest in a Sandoval nomination is the Nevada governor himself. Talking to The Morning Consult at a meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, Sandoval said being considered "would be a privilege" and that the Supreme Court "is the essence of justice in this country."
Despite all this buzz, a number of Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee are saying that even if Sandoval were to be given the nomination, it wouldn't change their minds. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) was rather blunt in his assessment: "The short answer is no, it doesn't change anything."