Obama on Supreme Court? 'A great idea,' Clinton says

Story highlights

  • "Wow. What a great idea. Nobody has ever suggested that to me. Wow," Clinton said
  • Obama as a Supreme Court justice is not a new concept

Decorah, Iowa (CNN)Barack Obama will be out of a job next year. And one voter in Iowa had a suggestion for Hillary Clinton, should she become president: Nominate him to the Supreme Court.

"Wow. What a great idea. Nobody has ever suggested that to me. Wow," Clinton said to laughter and applause from the audience.
    "He may have a few other things to do," Clinton added.
    After noting how the next president will nominate "at least three" Supreme Court justices and that she isn't happy with the current Supreme Court, Clinton went back to the voter's question.
    "I would certainly take that under advisement," Clinton said. "I mean, he is brilliant and he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor. He has got all the credentials."
    One problem: Could he get past the Senate?
    Supreme Court justices must be confirmed by the United States Senate, a body that has been under Republican control for the past year.
    "We do have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed," Clinton told the voter.
    Obama as a Supreme Court justice is not a new concept, and one president, William Howard Taft, did serve on the high court following his presidency, as chief justice.
    Journalists and columnists have written about the topic before, and CNN contributor Jeffrey Toobin asked Obama about it in a The New Yorker interview in 2014.
    "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."
    He added, "I love the law, intellectually. 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."