Former President Bill Clinton hopes that President Barack Obama will expand his search for a new Supreme Court Justice to those that haven’t been a judge: and no, he’s not talking about Hillary.
“The important thing, you think they are smart, competent and understand the lives of ordinary people,” Clinton told ABC’s Jake Tapper in an interview aired Sunday.
“One thing I think you should think about is, we’ve gotten — 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,” Clinton said. “Some of the best justices in the Supreme Court in history have been non-judges.”
The former president also clarified that he does not consider either himself or his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to be potentially suitable choices for the high court.
“I’m already 63 years old,” he explained. “I hope I live to be 90. I hope I’m just as healthy as Justice Stevens is but it’s not predictable. I would like to see him put someone in their late 40’s or early 50’s on the court, and someone with, you know, a lot of energy for the job.”
“Oh, [Hillary] would be great at it […] and I think at one point in her life she might have been interested in it,” Clinton said. “But she’s like me, you know, we are kind of doers, we like to be out there doing things, rowing our own boat and making changes we can see happen. And again, I think if she were asked, she would advise the president to appoint someone 10, 15 years younger.”
Liberal-leaning Justice John Paul Stevens said in April that he plans to retire in 2010, giving President Obama his second chance to leave an imprint on the Supreme Court.
Speculation on who will replace Stevens has surrounded “Judge Diane Wood of the Illinois-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit,” according to CNN sources.
The White House had made no announcement as to the president’s nominee at time of this writing.
This video is from ABC’s This Week, broadcast April 18, 2010.