Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Saturday that he had not expected President Bush to nominate him to replace the late William Rehnquist as chief justice.
"I'm not even sure I wanted it, to tell you the truth," Scalia told reporters at a media briefing before a gala dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.
Bush, who had in the past mentioned Scalia as one role model for an ideal chief justice, passed on Scalia and nominated John Roberts after Rehnquist's death.
Scalia said the time he would have had to devote to administering the court as chief justice would have taken away from his thinking and writing. However, he said, "The honor would have been wonderful."
Asked if he knew why he wasn't nominated, Scalia said the reason "is locked in the heart of the president."