Bill Clinton's Advice to Obama on Supreme Court Pick

Former President Bill Clinton was on ABC's This Week this morning. Jake Tapper asked him whether he'd like to be on the Supreme Court. His answer:

“I think I would enjoy it, but I don't think it would be a good idea…I'm already 63 years old, I hope I live to be 90…I love what I'm doing now and what I'm doing now is something that I'm uniquely qualified to do, whereas there are many people who could be good on the court.”

He also said both he and Hillary are too old to be put on the Supreme Court now -- not because they can't do it but because it would be better to pick someone with more energy in their 40's or 50's....meaning someone who will serve longer.

As to who Obama should pick:

“My advice to him would be to first of all see what the court is missing…The important thing is that you think they're smart and they're competent and they understand the lives of ordinary people. Now one thing I think he should think about is have we…gone too far in this process that assuming only judges can be elected? That somehow you're not qualified if you weren't a judge."

On gender and faith:

Does it matter if he puts a Catholic or a Jewish person or someone of another faith on a court, there might—there would be no Protestants on the Supreme Court. Does that matter? Does there need to be another woman on the court?

On political leanings:

Because Justice Stevens was part of the four-person progressive block, he will of course nominate someone who will be part of that. We've seen the hard way in the Citizens United case and campaign finance and in Bush v. Gore, during the most bizarre rulings in the history of the Supreme Court and I think one of the five worst, what the consequences of that are.

He pointed out what a great pick George Mitchell, a Senator when Clinton wanted to appoint him, would have made.

He must have a few people in mind, and I'd bet he's been asked for his view -- or provided it even if not asked. Given the number of Obama advisers who come from Clinton's Justice Department, and who likely are still in touch with Clinton or Clinton's current top aides, does his opinion carry extra weight?

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  • Display: Sort:
    Clinton sought to appoint Kagan (none / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Apr 18, 2010 at 01:51:06 PM EST
    to the appellate court in 1999.

    Orrin Hatch blocked it.

    so do you think he is hoping (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 18, 2010 at 01:55:23 PM EST
    she will be picked?

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Apr 18, 2010 at 01:57:03 PM EST
    he would support her pick, much in the way I do.

    She is acceptable, if not necessarily ideal.


    oh noes (none / 0) (#4)
    by kmblue on Sun Apr 18, 2010 at 02:48:15 PM EST
    not "acceptable" again.  ;)