"He may have a few other things to do but I tell you that's a great idea," Hillary Clinton said of appointing President Obama to the Supreme Court

By Tierney McAfee
January 27, 2016 12:20 PM
John Locher/AP

Justice Barack Obama? It could happen if Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

At a campaign event in Deocorah, Iowa, on Tuesday, the Democratic hopeful noted that the next president could have to appoint up to three Supreme Court justices – and she seemed delighted when a voter proposed Obama as a contender.

“Wow, what a great idea. No one has ever suggested that to me, I love that, wow,” Clinton replied. “He may have a few other things to do but I tell you that’s a great idea.”

“I mean, he’s brilliant, he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor,” she added. “So he’s got all the credentials, but we would have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed.”

Obama, who served as a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004, weighed the pros and cons of assuming a position on the Supreme Court in a 2014 interview with the New Yorker – and seemed to rule the idea out.

“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.”

“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.”