The White House and Secretary of State's office both quickly squelched rumors that President Obama is seriously considering Hillary Clinton to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. The idea, supported by "certain liberal-leaning sections of the internet," was officially floated by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who said Clinton would be an "interesting person in the mix." Clinton seems qualified — Yale Law, onetime practicing lawyer — so why not nominate her? (Watch an NBC discussion about the vacant Supreme Court seat)
Seating Clinton would be a bloodbath: Experience cuts both ways, says David Bass in The American Spectator. Clinton's Senate vetting would "entail a gory fight," and her "long (and sordid)" political history would make her "all but prohibitive" as a nominee. Obama doesn't want that drawn-out battle leading up to the midterm elections, "and no wonder."
"Supreme Hillary a no-go"
Still, only Hillary could truly replace Stevens: Clinton would've been Obama's "Super Bowl choice" for the Supreme Court, says Brent Budowsky in The Hill. Among the names floated, only Clinton has the "exceptionally rare combination of qualities" — she's a consensus builder with high-level executive and legislative experience — that could make her, like Stevens, a liberal "shadow chief justice" to the conservative John Roberts.
"Hillary for the Court"
Obama could seat her, at a steep cost: Getting her through the Senate would be doable, says Joshua Green in The Atlantic. Clinton's "flair for working with conservatives" is not only a good reason to put her on the bench — it also earned her friends on the GOP side of the Senate aisle. Outside Capitol Hill, though, it would spark a "culture war" that Obama seems keen to avoid. And he'd "lose a good secretary of state."
"Hillary to the Supreme Court"
It ain't over till he names someone: Yes, the White House "quickly shot down" the Justice Hillary scuttlebutt, says Yael Abouhalkah in the Kansas City Star. But don't ignore the possibility that "crafty Obama is trying to put Hatch and all the other Republicans off track, so they won't see a Clinton nomination coming until the last minute." Stay tuned.
"Obama on Clinton as new justice: Forget it"