Barack Obama could become a Supreme Court Justice if Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 presidential election. While appearing at a campaign event in Decorah, Iowa, Clinton was asked whether she considered appointing Obama to the Supreme Court if she wins the election. Although she said it is “a great idea,” the former fist lady admitted there may be a few obstacles.
In addition to winning the election, Hillary would be up against the Senate, which is responsible for confirming all Supreme Court appointments. As reported by CNN, the Senate has been Republican controlled since 2014.
When presented with the question during Tuesdays event, Clinton said she never considered appointing Obama to the Supreme Court. However, she admitted it was “a great idea,” which she might actually consider.
“Wow. What a great idea. Nobody has ever suggested that to me… I would certainly take that under advisement… he is brilliant and he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor. He has got all the credentials.”
In addition to the issue with the Senate, Hillary Clinton said she believes President Barack Obama “may have a few other things to do” when his presidency ends.
Supreme Court justices are nominated by the current president and confirmed by the Senate. Contrary to popular belief, there are few other requirements to become a Supreme Court justice. As explained on the high court’s official website, age, education, native-born citizenship, and profession are not part of the equation.
— garnet news (@garnetnewsroom) January 27, 2016
While it is not a requirement per the Constitution, all Supreme Court justices have studied law in some respect. All Supreme Court justices appointed after 1941 have attended law school.
Once appointed, Supreme Court Justices’ terms do not expire — so long as they display “good behavior.” Although impeachment is possible, Associate Justice Samuel Chase, who was impeached in 1805, remains the only Justice disciplined to that degree.
By law, there are nine positions on the Supreme Court. The current Justices include Samuel A. Alito, Stephen G. Bryer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Chief Justice John Roberts.
Although most presidents, including Barack Obama, would certainly qualify to serve on the Supreme Court, William Howard Taft remains the only person to serve as President of the United States and a Supreme Court Justice.
Biography explains that Taft’s presidential term ended in March 1913. Eight years later, he was appointed as the 10th chief justice of the Supreme Court by then-President Warren G. Harding. William Howard Taft served on the Supreme Court until one month before his death in March 1930.
During an October 2014 interview with the New Yorker, journalist Jeffrey asked President Barack Obama if he was interested in following in the footsteps of former President Taft.
Although he admitted he has a keen interest in the law, Obama said being on the Supreme Court would be “a little bit too monastic” for his taste. As Clinton suggested, the president said he feels a “need to get outside a little bit more.”
Obama reiterated his opinion on the subject in a November 2015 interview with Bill Simmons, which was published in GQ.
Obama Supreme Court https://t.co/5VrhAjpHCq pic.twitter.com/75NJ9n2Ozx
— oddepia (@newstermer) January 27, 2016
When asked if he would consider a Supreme Court appointment, the president paused. However, he went on to say he simply does not “have the temperament to sit in relative solitude and just opine and write from the bench.”
Although he is not interested in the position himself, Obama did underline the fact that “good judges” and Supreme Court justices are a “really important” part of the country’s criminal justice and judicial systems.
Hillary Clinton said she would consider appointing President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court if she wins the 2016 presidential election. However, he simply does not seem interested in the position at this time.