President Obama as the Next Supreme Court Justice? It's Not That Crazy

Imagine this: a Democrat becomes president next year and appoints Barack Obama to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat left by the late justice Antonin Scalia. OK, before you say this sounds crazy, let me tell you — it's happened before! If you think back on that seventh-grade history class, you'll remember that in 1921, former President William Howard Taft was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Taft served on the court until 1930.

Here's why it might work:

  • Obama is a lawyer and constitutional scholar. Let's not forget that Obama went to Harvard Law School, was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago.
  • He could get a sense of normalcy. Unlike being the president, the Supreme Court is a lifetime job that comes with relatively regular hours. You don't have to constantly campaign or battle with Congress on a daily basis. Heck, he could even live in Chicago part of the year, since the Court is only in session from October through July.
  • Obama is only 54. He's probably looking for his next gig, after this whole president thing finishes up in 2017.
  • He appointed Hillary Clinton to the prestigious position of Secretary of State back in 2009, after she lost the nomination to him. Maybe if she finally wins the presidency, she'll repay him the favor by nominating him to the Supreme Court. In fact, before Scalia's death Clinton joked with a supporter in Iowa that she loved the idea of Obama on the Supreme Court, calling it a "great idea" and saying "he's got all the credentials, but we would have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed."

When asked directly about the posibility of serving on the Supreme Court, back in 2014, Obama seemed torn. He told the New Yorker that he loves "the law, intellectually," but worries that "being a Justice is a little bit too monastic." As it stands, Obama wants to appoint someone else to the court as soon as possible. But if the Republican-controlled Sentate, which must approve his choice, gives him a fight and blocks his nomination until he leaves office, they might just end up with him on the bench . . . however narrow the odds are.