John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Hillary to Supreme Court?

Posted on May 28, 2008

Hillary to the Supreme Court? (John Feehery)

@ 8:46 am

Fascinating story in this week’s National Journal raises the specter of Barack Obama cutting a deal with Hillary Clinton that would have him name her to the Supreme Court if he is elected president.

Frankly, that makes a lot more sense than selecting her as vice president, and it puts her out to pasture (politically speaking) for the duration. As a Supreme Court justice, she would be formidable. She would galvanize the left, and if she were on the court, it would be mighty difficult to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Over the weekend, both Carl Hulse of The New York Times and Shailagh Murray of The Washington Post did stores about how difficult Clinton’s return to the Senate could be. Let’s face it. It wouldn’t be a pretty picture. She is far down on seniority, doesn’t chair any committees of note, and without the possibility of the White House on the horizon, she would be just another senator. Imagine Bill Clinton’s angst at this development. From first laddie to just another senate spouse. Maybe he could go into business with Mary Landrieu’s husband.

But if his main squeeze became a Supreme Court justice? Well, that just might tickle the former president’s imagination. Just imagine what kind of havoc Bill could play with the Supreme Court.

If this possibility doesn’t excite the right, nothing will.

I can see the 30-second ads. “First, she wanted to run the country. Now, President Obama wants her to run the court. We can’t afford to have Hillary Clinton on the Supreme Court.”

The last time such a high-profile deal was cut with a Supreme Court appointment was when Eisenhower promised Earl Warren he would be his choice for the Supreme Court to keep Warren from campaigning for Robert Taft. (I learned this in the National Journal piece.)

There has been great speculation about Hillary Clinton as the vice president. I think it is much more likely that Obama will cut a deal to put her on the court. Stranger things have happened, especially when it comes to the Clintons.