Hillary: Hey, wouldn’t it be great to have … Supreme Court Justice Barack Obama?

posted at 2:41 pm on January 28, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Wow, indeed. When this cycle began, Hillary Clinton tried running to her Left and away from Barack Obama and his administration, hoping to pre-empt Bernie Sanders and co-opt the progressive populism that has seized the Democratic Party’s primary fight. Clearly that effort has not succeeded, so Hillary appears to have decided to offer herself as the third Obama term as well as the third Clinton term. In fact, she went so far Tuesday night as to declare herself wowed by a suggestion that she keep Obama in Washington for a lifetime — as a member of the Supreme Court:

At a campaign event in Decorah, Iowa, a voter asked the Democratic presidential contender if she would consider making such a move.

“Wow, what a great idea. Nobody has ever suggested that to me. Wow, I love that, wow,” the Democratic presidential candidate responded. “He may have a few other things to do, but I tell you that’s a great idea.”

Clinton acknowledged that the next president might have the opportunity to appoint several Supreme Court justices. Nearly half of the court — four of the nine justices — has served on it for 20 to 30 years and are either over the age of 80 or approaching it. …

“He’s brilliant and he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor. He’s got all the credentials,” Clinton added about Mr. Obama’s qualifications. “Now, we do have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed, so you’re going to have to help me on that.”

Again, wow, but not so much on the merits as on the politics. Hillary really wants to tie herself completely to an incumbent president stuck in the mid-40s after eight years in office? And so much so that she wants to perpetuate his grip on the levers of power? Until he got disbarred for perjury and obstruction of justice, her husband had a better argument for a Supreme Court nomination in an Al Gore administration, at least on the politics of the idea.

Still, this serves as a very clear reminder of the stakes in the upcoming election, as I write in my column for The Fiscal Times today. That’s even more true as Democrats have an advantage in the Senate races in 2016, and could very well recapture control of the chamber for 2017:

Four of the current justices are over 70 years of age, two from each wing of the court. The next president will almost certainly need to make one or more nominations to the nation’s top court, and the Senate will have to confirm those nominees. The lifetime appointments may provide the most significant legacy a president can create, one that keeps adding to their public role for decades after leaving office.

Obama has already established his legacy on the court through the appointments of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. The two can be expected to engage in an activist policy role over the next several years, attempting to extend decades of precedent in which the court has encroached on legislative turf.

No stranger to executive action that treads on Congressional prerogative, Obama would be only too glad to pursue his policy goals in the same manner. But even if Clinton thought better of putting Obama on the court, it is clear that she will appoint judges and justices of the same ideological and activist bent.

Let this serve as a wake-up call to those who wish to see Obama enjoy a long and happy retirement from power and reverse as many of his policies as possible in the next four years. It will take a unity that has so far eluded Republicans in this cycle to succeed in this mission. Anti-establishment populism has its place, but complete nihilism on the Right will result in what they oppose most.

By the way, Obama has been asked about his SCOTUS ambitions, but has mostly shrugged it off as “too monastic” for his tastes:

“I love the law, intellectually,” Obama continued. “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.”

He seemed even more certain in November 2015, when he told sports writer Bill Simmons, “I don’t have the temperament to sit in relative solitude and just opine and write from the bench. I want to be in the action a little bit more.”

I’d advise not giving Hillary Clinton the chance.


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Comment pages: 1 2

I think it’s safe to say no one is going to get on the Court these days without a law degree, license, bar membership, judicial service and/or experience arguing before the Court. In fact, attending the “right” law school is an unspoken prerequisite.

dorkintheroad on January 28, 2016 at 3:54 PM

I think that’s probably correct: custom and precedent are powerful things. Still, it’s worth noting that there are no formal requirements.

Maybe Kanye West will want to stay involved after he completes two terms as POTUS — after all, he’d still be in his early fifties.

RedPepper on January 28, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Somebody please ask Mountain Dew the same question.

motionview on January 28, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Hillary really wants to tie herself completely to an incumbent president stuck in the mid-40s after eight years in office?

She needs the schwartzers to come out in big numbers like they did for PBHO.

MJBrutus on January 28, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Quid pro quo?

Neitherleftorright on January 28, 2016 at 4:29 PM

Someone doesn’t want to be indicted.

MechanicalBill on January 28, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Still, it’s worth noting that there are no formal requirements.

RedPepper on January 28, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Unwritten requirements tend to come into play in general cases where you’re not pandering to an audience or playing favorites with the guy you shoot hoops with.

For example, all you really need to be president is be a natural-born citizen over 35, but almost nobody outside the political class gets serious consideration, and usually people look for service in either a national office (senator) or an executive seat (governor). Even outliers like Trump go through the Republican party because he knows it would be a miracle if the Party Of Trump got even 5% of the general vote.

The Schaef on January 28, 2016 at 4:31 PM

LilyBart on January 28, 2016 at 2:59 PM

Who?

Neitherleftorright on January 28, 2016 at 4:32 PM

O gave her a pat… so she gave him a pat back…. they still hate each other.

Neitherleftorright on January 28, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Yeah, princess earflaps on the supreme court.

GrassMudHorsey on January 28, 2016 at 3:56 PM

Princess Earflaps. heh.

Can I use that one?

fogw on January 28, 2016 at 4:38 PM

“Somebody doesn’t want to be indicted.”

Got that off the one hop, MB.

GrassMudHorsey on January 28, 2016 at 4:46 PM

Hillary is a beached decaying whale.

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2016 at 3:08 PM

You know that’s an insult to beached decaying whales, don’t you?

EdmundBurke247 on January 28, 2016 at 4:55 PM

Clearly Her Royal Thighness is vectoring for a pass from Obama’s DOJ or even a Presidential Pardon should an indictment be handed down. Otherwise she has no use for Obama.

ghostwalker1 on January 28, 2016 at 5:11 PM

“I love nutting out these problems,

That is a different use of the word nutting. I learn something everyday.

HugoDrax on January 28, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Oh yeah, great idea Your Thighness.

Justice Urkel can prepare his briefs from the 15th fairway.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on January 28, 2016 at 5:20 PM

Obama on the Court is almost a nothing proposal; how about the first couple on the Supreme Court, Obama and Michelle? Bernie, you there?

PersonFromPorlock on January 28, 2016 at 5:23 PM

Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution specifies no requirements for eligibility to be a Justice of the Supreme Court. Not even an age requirement.

ouch. well then, welcome new SCOTUS member Justin Bieber.

I am sure that he will be just as liberal as Roberts and as Canadian as Cruz

Senator Philip Bluster on January 28, 2016 at 5:33 PM

NO doubt the GOPe would confirm…not the hill to die on. And AP would find a poll that proves the country supports it…and Ed would analyze

winston on January 28, 2016 at 5:56 PM

Is there any reason I should believe Capt Comb Over wouldn’t do the same thing? Trump drooled over BO’s brilliance and voted for the constitutional scholar.

David in ATL on January 28, 2016 at 4:03 PM

That has been proven false.. That whole Glenn Beck twitter thing was a ruse by a random twitterer.

preallocated on January 28, 2016 at 6:05 PM

personally I’d rather have a wino picked at random from any city’s skid row than Obama as a SC justice.

Oldnuke on January 28, 2016 at 6:10 PM

How many other justices received the Nobel Peace Prize?

Oxymoron on January 28, 2016 at 6:19 PM

So… Glenn Beck still prefer voting for Hillary over Trump?

Ukiah on January 28, 2016 at 2:52 PM

Trump would probably put Hillary on the Court. He basically said she was a wonderful SOS. He probably thinks she’d make a great Justice.

AmerigoChattin on January 28, 2016 at 6:25 PM

O’bama would never take the SCOTUS job, because:

1. He would be taking a pay cut.

2. He’d have to spend multiple months of the year in DC, instead of golfing in Hawai’i.

3. He wouldn’t be the center of attention-he’d simply be just one of 9 SCOTUS Justices, and in fact would be the “Junior Justice”, which a narcissist like O’bama would never do.

4. He wouldn’t be Chief Justice.

Del Dolemonte on January 28, 2016 at 6:35 PM

No adoration.
No money.
Too much like work.

The Clinton-model of speeches, with an added hint of “Preacher”, it is.

Golf by day. Adoration & Community Agitation by night.

Carnac on January 28, 2016 at 7:09 PM

Better idea: make him ambassador to Libya

Shay on January 28, 2016 at 7:26 PM

Obama and Hillary should both be appointed to life terms in a federal pen.

justltl on January 28, 2016 at 7:46 PM

After what he has inflicted on this nation, will never happen, would never get confirmed. Needs to stay on the golf courses in Hawaii.

Amazingoly on January 28, 2016 at 7:51 PM

Hillary: Hey, wouldn’t it be great to have … Supreme Court Justice Barack Obama?

Bwahahahahahaha!

Does she really think The One wants to toil away, having to actually think, reason, and write a lot? And subject himself to having what he wrote critically and seriously examined?

When he could instead tour the world as ‘The First Black President’ and collect speaking fees that would make Slick Willy’s look like pocket change?

Either she thinks this will help her put a lock on the black vote or she is a fool.

farsighted on January 28, 2016 at 8:01 PM

Bambi was never a law professor. He was a lecturer. Big difference.

PackerBronco on January 28, 2016 at 8:03 PM

Still, it’s worth noting that there are no formal requirements.

RedPepper on January 28, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Unwritten requirements tend to come into play in general cases where you’re not pandering to an audience or playing favorites with the guy you shoot hoops with.

For example, all you really need to be president is be a natural-born citizen over 35, but almost nobody outside the political class gets serious consideration, and usually people look for service in either a national office (senator) or an executive seat (governor). Even outliers like Trump go through the Republican party because he knows it would be a miracle if the Party Of Trump got even 5% of the general vote.

The Schaef on January 28, 2016 at 4:31 PM

An old unwritten requirement for a SCOUTS seat was to be a political rival to the sitting President.

Jeff Weimer on January 28, 2016 at 8:16 PM

Just BS and they both know it.

Obama is going to be President of the World U.N.

Meremortal on January 28, 2016 at 8:19 PM

Oh jeez…SCOTUS, not SCOUTS.

Jeff Weimer on January 28, 2016 at 8:21 PM

The Schaef on January 28, 2016 at 4:31 PM

For the most part I would agree. Perot is the best I can recall.

I think Anderson got around 10%.

1992:

Clinton: 43
Bush: 37.5
Perot: 18.9

Meremortal on January 28, 2016 at 8:24 PM

Hence “general” and “almost”.

Perot serves as both the exception that proves the rule, and an example of what we can expect when people vote anti-establishment out of spite.

The Schaef on January 28, 2016 at 8:30 PM

An old unwritten requirement for a SCOUTS seat was to be a political rival to the sitting President.

Jeff Weimer on January 28, 2016 at 8:16 PM

That’s interesting, I never knew that!

Do you have examples, or documentation? I’m curious to know more; I’m young enough that I don’t have a lot of experience about The Process ™ in a world before Robert Bork.

The Schaef on January 28, 2016 at 8:32 PM

Hey I got an idea for a Supreme Court appointment. How about the registered Democrat lawyer and pro-abortion Harriet Miers. She’d work out great.

mike3121 on January 28, 2016 at 9:09 PM

More shiny things to dangle in front of LIV democrats…and the LSM.

OccamsRazor on January 28, 2016 at 9:21 PM

Hillario’s Meal Ticket is fading fast!

Bill Clinton’s poll ratings are in free-fall, and that surprise crash undermines the conventional wisdom that Hillary Clinton has a lock on the Democrat nomination.

A new CBS/New York Times poll shows that just 39 percent of American voters have a favorable opinion of Bill Clinton.

This is down from a 50 percent approval rating just a few months ago. In 2012…66 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Mr. Clinton.

Bill Clinton’s favorable rating today is actually lower than it was in 2008, when he last campaigned forcefully for Hillary as she was battling Barack Obama for the Democrat nomination. As that contest heated up, Mr. Clinton’s favorable rating sank to 46 percent.

Del Dolemonte on January 28, 2016 at 10:07 PM

Dear Barack,
I know we have had our differences but, if you make this FBI thing go away I will give you a position of power. Isn’t that what you are used to? isn’t that what you want?

notalemon on January 28, 2016 at 10:25 PM

For those who think about sitting home, elections have consequences…..some that can’t be rectified for generations once they enter SCOTUS.

goflyers on January 28, 2016 at 10:57 PM

The answer is lame/dumb/predictable/frightening but don’t forget it took a starstruck lefty moron in the audience to think of the question and ask it in the first place.

jangle12 on January 28, 2016 at 11:02 PM

It really is quite morbid when they make assumptions about how many “Supreme Court appointments the next president will get.”

TBSchemer on January 29, 2016 at 1:46 AM

I have chuckled reading the comments about Hillary’s Supreme Court appointments. It appears none of you think this could happen but your desires to see either Trump or Cruz elected guarantees the result you fear the most. Two unelectable candidates are leading for the nomination, if either wins, the electoral defeat will rival that of McGovern or Goldwater.

jake22 on January 29, 2016 at 2:09 AM

I vomited twice! Once at the thought of her being POTUS. The second time at her suggestion.

RWRFAN on January 29, 2016 at 4:38 AM

Quid pro quo?

Neitherleftorright on January 28, 2016 at 4:29 PM

Someone doesn’t want to be indicted.

MechanicalBill on January 28, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Hillary is hail mary desperate at this point. It wouldn’t surprise me if the question wasn’t a plant.

Her answer smacks of attempted bribery. The correct response would have been, “It would be inappropriate for me to proffer a position to the authority determining whether to prosecute me for the hundreds of felony accounts for which I’m under investigation.”

Still, it was a pointless gesture. Obama is too damned lazy, he’s never worked a full-time job in his life.

Younggod on January 29, 2016 at 6:03 AM

He’s demonstrated both a complete ignorance of and contempt for the constitution, so he’d be perfect for a Democrap.

Jaibones on January 29, 2016 at 6:34 AM

It’s just her bribe offer – something she’s been doing (and is under investigation for doing) for years.

PJ Emeritus on January 29, 2016 at 7:36 AM

For starters he would have to uncover all his hidden papers, including a birth certificate if one exists, and after all that, would never be confirmed after what he has done to our country. Nice sound bite, however, Hillary.

Amazingoly on January 29, 2016 at 8:13 AM

I’ve been expecting this. This is her ploy to get the black vote. She knows without Obama on the ticket, black voters will not be out in droves like they were the last two presidential elections.

If she can put him on the ticket via, “Hey, I’ll give him a permanent seat of power on SCOTUS”, she hopes to get those people to the polls to vote.

ButterflyDragon on January 29, 2016 at 8:43 AM

A Republican Senate would confirm him 98-2.

Valiant on January 28, 2016 at 3:24 PM

Nasty Ted Cruz can’t work with anybody!

Axeman on January 29, 2016 at 9:45 AM

Great. Then we’d be getting Constitutional opinions from a guy who never published an article as the Chief Editor of the Harvard Law Review, or in his stint as a professor. The Zero-paper-trail path to SCJ.

A republic that would back that is just doomed.

Axeman on January 29, 2016 at 9:48 AM

It really is quite morbid when they make assumptions about how many “Supreme Court appointments the next president will get.”

TBSchemer on January 29, 2016 at 1:46 AM

Only if they served on the court until the moment of their death, genius.

This may come as a shock to you, but many (nearly all) justices retire their post while their still upright and breathing.

The Schaef on January 29, 2016 at 9:56 AM

But do you trust McConnell to confirm the justices President Cruz appoints?

Rix on January 28, 2016 at 3:24 PM

Good question.

I would hope that he would have the guts to fight for, and confirm, the justices that President Cruz would appoint.

Conservative Samizdat on January 29, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Still, it was a pointless gesture. Obama is too damned lazy, he’s never worked a full-time job in his life.

Younggod on January 29, 2016 at 6:03 AM

I didn’t see it so much as a bribe offer, rather a thank you for the few nice words he said about her. Kind of keeping the peace, but I think they hate and distrust each other deeply. That type of quid pro quo.

Neitherleftorright on January 29, 2016 at 11:29 AM

Why not just have Putin be a SC justice? How about an iranian mullah, or better yet, lets fill the supreme court with isis leaders, obama would love that.

WTF is with these completely moronic progressive pieces of garbage? We really need to take the garbage out once and for all.

Andy__B on January 29, 2016 at 12:07 PM

The fix is in.

Kissmygrits on January 29, 2016 at 12:34 PM

Wow, wouldn’t it be great to work with eight other people you’ve spent the last seven plus years insulting?

I don’t think there’s any danger Obama will be nominated to the Supreme Court. For one thing, it’s not a big enough job to satisfy his ego.

RebeccaH on January 29, 2016 at 2:32 PM

War.

claudius on January 29, 2016 at 3:19 PM

Hillary: Hey, wouldn’t it be great to have … Supreme Court Justice Barack Obama?

Like, he would be the first real black Supreme Court Justice?

Come on Libs… you know, I know, we all know that’s where you’re at.
He ate a frig’n dog so he must have some kind of special insight…

Voodoo Chile on January 29, 2016 at 5:21 PM

Non starter. There is no option to vote “Present” on a SCOTUS opinion.

Lammo on January 29, 2016 at 7:17 PM

Yep, tell the IRS, DOJ etc to bugger off and I will nominate you, obama the Magnificent along with your mirror, selfie stick and telepromprompter to the Supreme Court!

And, I’ll fix you up with Huma’s Weiner for some selfies!

Obamatrix on January 29, 2016 at 9:53 PM

What would be really great would be for Mr and Mrs Clinton to drop out of public life and take Barack, his family and Chelsea along with them.

TimBuk3 on January 31, 2016 at 11:12 AM

NO

Dasher on January 31, 2016 at 3:12 PM

Comment pages: 1 2