Hillary is an interesting prospect, because as a former Senator, tradition indicates that Republicans in the Senate won’t filibuster the vote on her confirmation. After spending over a year fighting to pass the hugely unpopular Obamacare, there is speculation that President Obama does not want the Senate tied up for months fighting over a High Court nomination, which will be the result if Obama nominates someone from far-left. While Hillary is certainly liberal, as a former Senator her nomination will likely move to an up or down vote much quicker than almost anyone else that Obama might nominate.
It would seem that Orrin Hatch broke this story, but it is unclear where he heard it:
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, one of the top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday morning that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been mentioned as a possible nominee to the Supreme Court.
“I even heard the name Hillary Clinton today, and that would be an interesting person in the mix,” Hatch said on NBC’s “Today Show.”
The senator said he would not pre-judge whether any potential nominee would be an appropriate candidate to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, but he had general praise for the secretary of state.
“I happen to like Hillary Clinton, I think she’s done a good job for the Democrats — Secretary of State’s position,” Hatch said, “and I have high respect for her, and think a great deal of her.”
At the same time, putting her on the Supreme Court would eliminate another major problem that Obama sees looming. While as an incumbent, traditional thinking would be that Barack Obama will walk through the Democratic primary, the fact is that his approval rating continues to fall. He has passed a hugely unpopular health insurance bill, has massively increased the national debt, put through the largest tax increase in US history and appears headed towards a broad-based tax increase to pay for his massive increase in social programs.
Hillary Clinton might be the only candidate that could give Obama a real challenge in the Democratic primary, and putting her on the Supreme Court almost assures him of smooth sailing to the Democratic nomination in 2012.
Ed Morrissey discusses some of the benefits Obama would gain from putting Clinton on the High Court:
Politically, Obama gets a win by putting another woman on the court. Unlike with at least one of the apparent short-listers (Elana Kagan), no one will doubt Hillary’s liberal bona fides. But best of all, Obama would be dispatching the one Democrat who could conceivably win a primary race against him in 2012 if his numbers continue to fall. Once on the Supreme Court, Hillary would not step down to run for President, and Bill Clinton would be effectively neutralized as well.
Morrissey goes on to discuss some possible negatives of a Clinton nomination. First, at 63, she is older than liberals would like, since she might only be on the court for 20 years. Second, nominating her replacement for Secretary of State could lead to a contentious vote. It would give the Republicans an opportunity to highlight the many diplomatic and foreign policy blunders by the Obama administration.
When it’s all said and done, I do not think that Hillary will be nominated. All indications are that President Obama is ignoring his falling approval and the continued decline in support for Obamacare, and instead is emblazoned by the passage of Obamacare. Just as he did following his election, he mistakenly sees the passage of Obamacare as a re-affirmation of a mandate to push his far-left agenda. Look for Obama to nominate a far-left candidate that will put progressive ideology over adherence to the Constitution.