U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has "asked not to be considered" for nomination to the Supreme Court to take the spot formerly occupied by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
Administration insiders had concluded more than a week ago that Lynch's nomination would create an opening for Senate Republicans to demand Justice Department documents on pending investigations, and it was therefore considered a non-starter.
Senate Republicans have vowed to block anyone President Obama chooses, saying the next president should choose the next Supreme Court justice.
"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," the Justice Department said in a statement.
"Given the urgent issues before the Department of Justice, she asked not to be considered for the position. While she is 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."