Will a failed bar exam also be a bar to the Supreme Court?

Among the people on the short list to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court is Kathleen Sullivan, currently a professor of law at Stanford University.  Sullivan would fill two demographic check boxes for Barack Obama; Sullivan would add a second female to the highest court, and would also make a historic entry as the first openly gay Supreme Court justice.  Sullivan could make another kind of history, too, as the Hill points out:

If Stanford Law professor Kathleen Sullivan is nominated to the Supreme Court, she’ll likely have to answer at least one embarrassing question during her confirmation hearing: How did she fail the California bar exam?

Sullivan, who’s rumored to be on Obama’s SCOTUS short list, failed the test just four years ago while serving as a professor at Stanford Law School.

If Sullivan got a slot at Stanford Law, she’s certainly bright and capable enough, and the California exam is notoriously tough.  However, that poses another question: did Sullivan slough off her preparation?  She told the LA Times that she cracked the books hard on her second attempt, but that begs the question of whether she took it seriously the first time.

Obama will likely select Sonia Sotomayor anyway, as he will want to pick the first Hispanic justice (although some say Benjamin Cardozo, with his Portuguese ancestry, qualified already).  If he picks Sullivan instead, or later, expect this to be a topic that will come under scrutiny, especially given the critical barbs aimed at some of George Bush’s appointments to the appellate bench.  If Sullivan didn’t take the bar exam seriously when her livelihood depended on it, doesn’t that reflect a casualness and procrastination that doesn’t recommend one for the highest court?