Hillary Clinton on Thursday said that President Obama should nominate a "true progressive" to fill the vacant seat in the Supreme Court, suggesting that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval would be the wrong choice.
Clinton's comments come a day after news reports that the White House is vetting Sandoval, a moderate Republican, for the Supreme Court seat.
"Now there has been some talk maybe the president will nominate the Republican Governor of Nevada. Now I love Nevada, especially after last weekend, I really love Nevada, and I know the Governor has done some good things, but I sure hope the president chooses a true progressive who will stand up for the values and the interests of the people of this country," Clinton said in South Carolina, according to a CNN reporter.
Republicans in Congress have said they will not consider any Supreme Court nominee put forth by the president. With the prospect of a court having just eight justices for more than a year, Obama is reportedly considering nominating a Republican or a moderate to break the deadlock by forcing Republicans into an increasingly uncomfortable position.
The White House has declined to comment on whether Sandoval is on the shortlist of possible nominees.
If Obama nominates a liberal-minded justice who is blocked by a Republican Congress, Democrats will have an important rallying cry in the 2016 election that could help the Democratic nominee. Some Democrats think much of that energy could be lost if a moderate Republican fills the vacant seat.
As a New York Senator in 2005, Clinton was one of 89 Senators to vote for Sandoval to become a federal judge. (Eleven other Senators, including Obama, did not vote.)