CNN: Obama On Supreme Court "A Great Idea," Clinton Says

Originally posted at CNN.

Barack Obama will be out of a job next year. And one voter in Iowa had a suggestion for Hillary Clinton, should she become president: Nominate him to the Supreme Court.

“Wow. What a great idea. Nobody has ever suggested that to me. Wow,” Clinton said to laughter and applause from the audience.

“He may have a few other things to do,” Clinton added.

After noting how the next president will nominate “at least three” Supreme Court justices and that she isn’t happy with the current Supreme Court, Clinton went back to the voter’s question.

“I would certainly take that under advisement,” Clinton said. “I mean, he is brilliant and he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor. He has got all the credentials.”

One problem: Could he get past the Senate?

Supreme Court justices must be confirmed by the United States Senate, a body that has been under Republican control for the past year.

“We do have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed,” Clinton told the voter.

Obama as a Supreme Court justice is not a new concept, and one president, William Howard Taft, did serve on the high court following his presidency, as chief justice.

Journalists and columnists have written about the topic before, and CNN contributor Jeffrey Toobin asked Obama about it in a The New Yorker interview in 2014.

“When I got out of law school, I chose not to clerk,” he said. “Partly because I was an older student, but partly because I don’t think I have the temperament to sit in a chamber and write opinions.”

He added, “I love the law, intellectually. I love nutting out these problems, wrestling with these arguments. I love teaching. I miss the classroom and engaging with students. But I think being a justice is a little bit too monastic for me. Particularly after having spent six years and what will be eight years in this bubble, I think I need to get outside a little bit more.”

Read more at CNN.


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  • Red says:

    March 8, 2016 at 6:09 AM

    Plus, he would have to sit for the bar to regain his law license.

  • Melvin Yates says:

    March 8, 2016 at 8:38 AM

    He should never be allowed on any court. He and his wife both had to give up their license for misconduct as lawyers. He can not go on supreme court if he is not a licensed lawyer.

  • meltoenail says:

    March 8, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    Sad part of this is we the people will be paying this person and family for the remainder of his life, to the tune of 450K +/- a year. Now that is a crime, just a crime.

    • Jeff Wadl says:

      March 8, 2016 at 8:26 PM

      Actually I believe his pension is in the ballpark of a US Senator’s yearly salary which isn’t $450K. Either amount is too much. He owes us for the $9,000,000,000,000 he’s added to the national debt.

  • F. A. Grieger says:

    March 8, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    Actually, the book I authored last year: “Chase The Rabbit,” I demonstrated that there is actually no prohibition on Obama, nominating himself to the SCOTUS before he leaves the office of US President.

    An excerpt:

    As Justice Roberts’s unconstitutional ruling on Obamacare demonstrated, the
    consolidation of power vested in the executive branch has become most egregious
    between the White House and the Supreme Court. This is a weakness in our system
    that must be corrected if we are to restore constitutional authority and liberty to the
    people. In “Federalist #51,” James Madison also wrote, “Each department should
    have a will of its own, and the members of each should have as little agency as
    possible, in the appointment of the members of the others.”

    Given this statement, how is it that the appointment of Supreme Court justices became
    vested in the authority of the president? Clearly the actions of FDR throughout his
    12-year presidency—starting with his failed attempt to pack the Supreme Court with
    liberals and followed by his patient transformation of the court through attrition—
    demonstrated the flaw in this model.

    Should the President Nominate Supreme Court Justices?

    Absolutely Not. Restoring America to the rule of law requires that we reestablish a meaningful
    separation of powers to the branches of the federal government. This must start with
    the Supreme Court and US Senate.

    Many scoff at the idea that the president should be stripped of the privilege to
    nominate Supreme Court justices. But there is another little known reason why it
    should be done: It is technically possible for the president to nominate himself to
    the Supreme Court. All he would have to do would be to step down as president
    during his final months in office after he was confirmed in the Senate in order to
    accept his lifetime tenure on the highest legal authority in the land. There is no law
    or statute that prevents him from doing this. The very fact that this would be legally
    permissible is reason enough to strip from any US president the privilege of Supreme
    Court nomination and appointment.


    As Jefferson Wrote:

    The original error was in establishing a judiciary independent of
    the nation, and from which the citadel of the law, can turn its guns
    on those they were meant to defend, and control and fashion their
    proceedings to its own will. The opinion which gives to the judges
    the right to decide what laws are Constitutional and what are not,
    not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the
    Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the
    judiciary a despotic branch.

    —Thomas Jefferson

    These are just a very few of the reasons laid out in “Chase The Rabbit,” that the US President should be stripped of the SCOTUS nomination privilege altogether. In order to restore and then preserve a meaningful separation of powers within our Federal Government, No branch of government should have any stake in the appointment of any party to any other branch of government (James Madison actually wrote something to this effect in The Federalist Papers).