Clinton dismisses Supreme Court speculation

Chris Rizo May 3, 2010, 9:26am

Hillary Clinton (D)

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, dismissing widespread speculation, said she is not interested in an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The former senator and first lady said Sunday she is not interested in succeeding U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, who has announced his retirement last month, after serving more than three decades on high court.

"I do not and never have wanted to be a judge," Clinton said in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" program. "It's just not my personality," she added.

As for serving as the nation's chief diplomat, Clinton said she intends on doing that for at least a complete four-year-term.

"It is an exhausting job. But I enjoy it, I have a great time doing it," she said.

Speculation about Clinton being President Barack Obama's possible second Supreme Court pick swirled after U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in an appearance last month on NBC's "Today" show that he has heard that Obama might tap Clinton to succeed Stevens.

Stevens, 89, is the U.S. Supreme Court's oldest member and a reliably liberal vote. He is the second oldest justice in U.S. history and fourth longest-serving. He was nominated to the high court in 1975 by Republican President Gerald Ford.

Among possible nominees being considered by Obama to succeed Stevens are 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sidney Thomas, California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno and former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears.

Also widely believed to be also under consideration are: 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Wood, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Judge Merrick Garland, U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, outgoing Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Obama's first Supreme Court appointee was Sonia Sotomayor, who served on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before being confirmed by the Senate in August.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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