A Latino federal appellate judge, whose name has been floated as a potential Supreme Court replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, has taken himself out of the running. Adalberto J. Jordan, 54, a judge on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, is no longer a contender for the high court.
CNN reported that Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said Jordan was dealing with a “personal, family situation” involving his mother and had withdrawn himself from consideration. “I talked to him,” Nelson told CNN, “I think that’s unfortunate because he’s squeaky clean.”
Jordan, who is Cuban-American, had been cited by the New York Times, CNN, and NBC News as a potential Supreme Court nominee. Aside from the fact that he would have been the second Hispanic on the high court, Jordan was seen as a strong candidate because he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a Reagan appointee, and he was elevated to the appellate court with 41 Republicans voting in his favor.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that she had asked the White House to remove her name from consideration for the Supreme Court. Last month, Nevada Republican Governor Brian Sandoval said publicly that he was not interested in the job either.
President Obama plans to move ahead with plans for naming a successor to Scalia, despite Republican opposition to his doing so. According to NPR, the president has begun to interview potential candidates.
Polls show that most Americans want the president nominating a justice, and for the nominee to get a vote.
Jordan is known for treating defendants respectfully, and for an even-handed approach to the law. Asked about his judicial philosophy during his confirmation hearing to the appellate bench, he said "We are all human beings, of course, but I think as a judge you need to try and strive very, very hard to make sure you are deciding the case on something other than your own preferences and views, whatever those might be. So I have strived and I hope I have achieved impartiality in my years on the bench in Miami."
Jordan was born in Havana, Cuba in 1961. Married with two daughters, he has worked in both the public and private sector. Had his candidacy moved forward, he would have been the first Cuban-American on the Supreme Court.