Justice Clinton?

Last week, ABC News reported: “Lawyers for President Obama have been working behind the scenes to prepare for the possibility of one, and maybe two Supreme Court vacancies this spring. Court watchers believe two of the more liberal members of the court, Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, could decide to step aside for reasons of age and health. That would give the president his second and third chance to shape his legacy on the Supreme Court.”

Read more here.

If this became a reality, I would accept that President Obama had been a successful president even if he didn’t get heath care reformed!  Of course, with his other nomination I would prefer seeing someone younger.



Filed under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U. S. Supreme Court

45 responses to “Justice Clinton?

  1. fnord

    I like this quote from the op-ed piece linked above:

    “But, would any Republicans support her?

    There would be fireworks, for sure. Partisan hell would break loose. Imagine Rush, Hannity, Coulter et al. What a field day.

    But, I’m guessing there would be enough Republicans who would support her because: (a) they actually like and respect her having served with her and seen how hard she works and how smart she is; and (b) they have some ambition to run for president themselves and they’d just as soon see her out of the picture.

    This is not a conventional prediction. But the fun thing about politics is how often the conventional wisdom gets tossed on its head. And when you sort through all the angles on this one, Madame Justice Clinton is not really so far-fetched.”

  2. fnord

    Replacing both Stevens and Ginsburg with liberal-leaning justices wouldn’t change the current balance of the Court. But this could be the longest-lasting and most important part of the Obama presidency, because if either of those two (who are oft reported as the next to be replaced) were replaced with a Conservative, we would see the rush to allow corporations taking over America completed. Maybe the most recent decision already did that, but a more conservative leaning Court would not be good for anyone or anything!

    We all pretty much guess that Obama will be a one-term president, but we all pretty much guess any Republican will go right back to the policies that got us where we are and certainly not solve any of our great challenges. Plus, if another Republican president is elected we’ll probably be at war with the world.

    So given the partisan bickering and the fact that no bill — not just a few, but all — can get passed in the Senate without 60 votes, it seems unlikely any president from any party will have any greater impact than the one s/he may have on the Supreme Court.

    • “Replacing both Stevens and Ginsburg with liberal-leaning justices wouldn’t change the current balance of the Court. But this could be the longest-lasting and most important part of the Obama presidency, because if either of those two (who are oft reported as the next to be replaced) were replaced with a Conservative, we would see the rush to allow corporations taking over America completed.”

      You know, fnord, I am not convinced that Hillary would not be on the side of the corporate interests. Sadly, I am sorry to say.

      And I think it would behoove Obama to look for someone younger because you have a couple of young morons on the court that will need to be counter-balanced for quite some time to come.

      • fnord

        Yes, I too have seen that ‘corporatism,’ Paula. More in Bill, than in Hillary. Truly, which politician isn’t bought and paid for?

        I’d still like to see her serve on the SCOTUS, even tho someone younger is an important consideration!

  3. tosmarttobegop

    She would make a good judge.

  4. itolduso

    “I’d still like to see her serve on the SCOTUS”

    Just curious as to why?

    I for one, would not. Not because of ideology, but because I see no experience as a judge, no great writings interpretating any Constitutional issues, nothing really to recommend her as one of the Supremes. What is there that would make her a good candidate, in your mind.

    • lillacluvr

      What great writings did the Republican men have?

      • itolduso

        That does not answer the question. If I were to take that as your argument, the recommendation would be that she was not a Republican, and was not a man.
        That does not tell me why she should be a Supreme Court Justice. My neighbor down the street is an attorney, is not a Republican, and is not a man.

    • fnord

      Because of her ideology.

      Before you scold me, I know it’s not a good reason. I know SCOTUS decisions shouldn’t reflect ideology. But since the current bunch already does, balance in ideology becomes even more important.

      I’m not as well informed on Hillary Clinton as you are. I’ll bow to your knowledge of her interpretations of Constitutional issues.

      Do you think Clarence Thomas had these experiences and strengths you say Clinton doesn’t possess?

  5. lillacluvr

    How old is Sonia Sotamayo (sp?)? Isn’t Hillary about the same age as Thomas, Scalia and Alito?

    If Obama would nominate her for the Court, I do think she would have an easier time being confirmed than someone younger and not as well known. Especially now since she has been Secretary of State.

    • fnord

      I found this and it’s dated Oct. 20, 2008 so add to these ages:

      John Paul Stevens, 88

      Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75

      Antonin Scalia, 72

      Anthony Kennedy, 72

      Stephen Breyer, 70

      Clarence Thomas, 60

      Samuel Alito, 58

      John Roberts (the chief justice), 53

      Add one or two years to the age listed and you’re close to their current age (depends on when BD falls).


      Sotomayor is 55.

  6. lillacluvr

    itolduso – you brought up past great writings as a qualification to be considered for being a Supreme Court justice – not me.

    I was just asking a fair question and you seem to not want to answer that.

  7. itolduso

    Why would I scold you? It is at least an honest answer. Although it is one that I disagree with, it is your opnion. And one that leads to each side complaining about the other side appointing judges with an ideology, and a campaign.

  8. fnord

    Scalia is the one I will celebrate retiring!

    Thomas will then need to look for a new puppet master — I’m guessing he’ll choose Roberts.

  9. itolduso

    No, you did not answer my question, you just replied with a question of your own. I simply pointed that out. You still have not given me a single answer as to why she should be a Supreme Court Justice.
    Okay, I will modify the question for you. What qualifies her as a Supreme Court Justice? Has she ever been a trial court judge? In municipal court? In District Court? In Federal court? If not, what opinion or writings of hers shows that this is not a disability?

    • fnord

      I’m confused (doesn’t take much).

      Are you asking me or Lilac?

      • lillacluvr

        While you might be looking for an argument, I only asked you if the Republican men had great writings of intepretation of the Constitution.

        As I stated before, you never answered my fair question.

        I don’t know if I ever even said I thought Hillary would be a good Supreme Court Justice. All I said was that she might be confirmed easier than someone younger and not so well known.

  10. itolduso

    As far as Thomas goes, he was at least a Federal appeals court judge for nearly two years.

  11. fnord

    Have all the current members of SCOTUS served judgeships?

  12. itolduso


    I do not really know, nor do I care. I have not advocated anybody for the Supreme Court. But should I do so, they would have experience at least as a federal trial court judge. More appropriately, as a federal appelate judge. That is just my opinion. You advocated for Hillary. I was curious as to why.

  13. itolduso

    Sorry for the confusion, Fnord. Sometimes when I use the “reply” button, it closes the entire window. I do not know why, nor does it always happen. I will try and address my remarks with better clarity.

    • fnord

      The only time I get a “reply” done correctly is when it is the only reply to a comment. If you get a string going and someplace in there is something I want to reply to, I never get it right.

      OK, I know something about how Clinton would come down on women’s reproductive rights, in fact all rights of women. She has always been a strong defender of women. Women have fought a long battle to get to where they are and I think have much further to go. It will take strong women fighting at every level to accomplish equality. I hope it happens for my granddaughters (I’ve already given up seeing it in my lifetime).

  14. itolduso

    To answer one question above, it appears, according to Wiki, that all the current Surpreme Court Justices have served as a judge in the federal appellate court system.

    • lillacluvr

      Exactly what are the qualfications to be considered for the Supreme Court?

      Is there a job description which goes into detail what is needed?

      • fnord


        I spent quite a bit of time looking to see if there was a ‘job description,’ or even minimum qualifications. Far as I can find, the answer is no, there isn’t and there aren’t.

        I think what wiki says here is all it takes —

        “The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States, and leads the federal judiciary. It consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight Associate Justices, who are nominated by the President and confirmed with the “advice and consent” (majority vote) of the Senate. Once appointed, Justices effectively have life tenure, serving “during good Behaviour”,[1] which terminates only upon death, resignation, retirement, or conviction on impeachment.”


        That mention of ‘good behaviour’ reminded me of when I met U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown. He serves right here in Wichita at the Federal Court House. He said he was appointed for life or good behavior — whichever ended first. He has behaved well for many a year!

        To this point he is the oldest federal judge still hearing cases. He was born June 22, 1907, and will celebrate his 103rd birthday next June. He was appointed in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy.

        Boggles your mind, Doesn’t it?

  15. I would say that Roberts and Alito are the two that I worry about most as far as a lasting impact goes. While it’s true that Hillary isn’t much older than they are, and women tend to live longer than men do, I would still like to see a younger woman on the court. And one whose experiences represent those of the more modest working women in this country, rather than those of priveledge. And I have to agree with itolduso that experience as a judge should definitely be a consideration here.

    If we weren’t serious about upholding the constitution and the law of the land, I might nominate Whoopie Goldberg. I like her and I think she would be fair. I agree with her politically and she has seen the struggle. I know Hillary at least has a law degree and background, but Whoopie could get a law degree too. I just think that a supreme court justice should have some experience as a judge.

  16. fnord

    One of the options in setting up a WordPress blog is whether replies will be allowed and how many levels you want to allow for replies.

    Sometimes I think one level might make it easier, but even then if there was a long line of replies to one comment you might lose sight of the original post everyone was replying to. Without any replies someone who comes in to an active thread can only add their input at the bottom. Their input may only be a reply to one comment, thus would fit better immediately under that comment.

    Another conundrum. 🙂

  17. fnord

    I would guess having served as a judge would be seen as an acceptable and needed experience for any nominee to the SCOTUS.

  18. itolduso

    Crazy computer crap. Those sort of issues is why I am NOT a computer nerd. just a regular nerd here.

    • fnord

      Here at PP&Ps regular nerds are doing crazy computer crap. 😦 Guess I should only speak for myself, some here are actually computer nerds.

      • I’m not a nerd, I’ll have you know.

        I’m a geek, and a proud one.

        Not of the computer kind, of the word kind.

        Just to set the record straight. 🙂

      • tosmarttobegop

        I will have you know…. I am an exceptional Nerd! among many other exceptional nerds here you included.

  19. tosmarttobegop

    Sadly as with many of the most important things with our system of Governess the Supreme court has became partisan. with it task it should not be governing thought of left or right it should be the law.

    The focus not being on what is right and just for the country i.e. the people.
    But with what is right or left.

    In order for any system to work it has to have the faith of the people in it.

    The supreme court being the final answer to any question it has to maintain its level of trust and judgment.
    Not being for sale to the highest bidder or to be sided on one side of the Political sway or the other.

  20. itolduso

    So, you support the concept of no litmus test for Supreme Court nominees?

    • I think that whole “litmus test” thing is just a loaded question.

      There is always a litmus test, whether it be on experience, on ideology or on party lines.

      Everyone is always going to have a line that they will not cross and a qualification that they will not live without.

  21. fnord

    I know I’ve told you all before that before I achieved my calling as a bum (which I’m very good at!) one of my responsibilities was writing employee policy manuals. The most difficult part was to make the written word both simple enough to understand and not easily interpreted in ways not intended.

    Every time the conversation is about the SCOTUS I’m reminded how difficult that was. In fact, there were employees who understood the intent perfectly but put their good minds to finding the way around that, finding the crack that could be used to their advantage.

    Look at the different ways our Constitution is interpreted. I’m not talking about making it say what you want it to say, the times it’s pretty obvious there was an agenda and not an accurate interpretation, just the difficulties in making a document written in a time unlike the one we live in make sense.

    Yet, the founding fathers did a pretty bang up job, didn’t they? They covered most everything.

    So if SCOTUS performed the job intended by those founding fathers there would never be an agenda, and there would probably be fewer split decisions along ideological lines.

    But then, why would we expect the judicial branch to be less political than the other two branches, why would we even expect one branch to perform to the expectations of our founding fathers when the other two don’t?

  22. itolduso

    “But then, why would we expect the judicial branch to be less political than the other two branches, why would we even expect one branch to perform to the expectations of our founding fathers when the other two don’t?”

    Excellent question.

    I, for one, beleive the following things about SCOTUS

    1. The President, in general, should get the right to pick his own judges, without ideological differences from the Senate being allowed to interfere
    2. A SCOTUS nominee should have quite a bit of experience as an apellate court judge. The “quite a bit” I realize is subjective, but I want experienced judges
    3. Scotus judges should be concerned solely with what the law says, and what the Constitution requires. In that regard, they should go by:
    1. Was the law followed?
    2. What does the Constitution say?
    3. What was the original intent of the Constitution?
    4. What has been the precedent established by previous Scotus panels?
    5. How does items 1, thru 4 apply to the current case?

    That is it. Even then, if I remember correctly, item 4 does not necessarily agree with item 3. Seems like Marbury took on greater authority for SCOTUS then maybe the original intent. I cannot say that for certain, but it seems to be my recollection.

    That is it.

    • Your recollection of Marbury v. Madison comports with mine. Arguably (from memory), the power of ‘judicial review’ (not included in Article III, §2, Constitution of the United States) was intended to be exercised as it was in England. Simply stated, as to the lawfulness (under the Constitution, for our purposes here), SCOTUS would examine the law to ensure that the requisite formalities attendant to its passage and adoption had been faithfully observed, and, if so, the law was ‘Constitutional’. Obviously, Mr. Chief Justice Marshall stood that concept on its head, which (again from memory) was consistent with his position on the power of the judiciary when a member of the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  23. itolduso


    “While you might be looking for an argument, I only asked you if the Republican men had great writings of intepretation of the Constitution.

    As I stated before, you never answered my fair question.”

    Sorry, you have me confused with someone else. I don’t look for arguments. Once again, As I stated, you never answered my question, but asked another instead. Whether or not it is a fair question makes no difference. It did not answer my question.
    However, to appease you, I have no idea whether or not they had any great writings. My point was, that since she has obviously not served as a judge, what writings dealing with Consitutional issues can you point to that would recommend her as a Supreme Court Justice? It was a true question, not an argumentative one. You have yet to answer it.

    • lillacluvr

      I really have no idea if Hillary is a good choice or not. I believe the only thing I said was about that her confirmation might be easier than someone younger and not so well known.

      I believe with all these replies going back and forth – we all have gotten confused as to who asked why and how.

      To the issue of my having to be appeased, I really just asked a question that you have finally addressed.

  24. itolduso

    In looking upthread, my question was to fnord, not you. You interjected with your question, so to be fair, technically, you did not answer my question with a question. You asked one of your own, in response to my question to fnord. I have answered it.
    So, do you or do you not beleive Hillary Clinton to be a good choice for Supreme Court Justice, and why or why not?

  25. fnord

    See, back to that conundrum about ‘replies.’ And a bunch of regular nerds doing crazy computer crap. Except for those who are geeks or exceptional nerds…

    Probably left someone out, didn’t mean to.