Though potential Supreme Court nominations nearly always come up during presidential campaigns, that issue could be of utmost importance in 2020 thanks to a recent remark from former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden suggested over the weekend that he would be open to nominating his ex-boss, former President Barack Obama, to replace a retiring Supreme Court justice if elected president.
It was at a campaign event in Iowa that Biden was asked by reporters if he would consider nominating Obama to the Supreme Court.
“If he’d take it, yes,” Biden replied.
To be sure, the former vice president still needs to win his party’s nomination before thinking too hard about potential Supreme Court appointments — but nevertheless, his choice of Obama as a potential nominee has been made clear.
Not the first
According to The Hill, if Biden were to win the White House and then nominate his old boss to the Supreme Court, Obama would actually be the second former president to sit on the high bench after serving in the White House.
The honor for the first to do so goes to William Howard Taft, who served as president from 1909–1913. Taft was later nominated by President Warren G. Harding to serve as chief justice of the Supreme Court in 1921, and he held that role until his resignation in 1930.
Whether Obama is willing to follow in the footsteps of Taft and become the second president to also serve on the Supreme Court is something that remains to be seen.
A legal background
According to The Daily Wire, Obama does have a legal background that, at least in the view of some, supports the notion that he would be qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. He graduated from Harvard Law School and became a lawyer in Illinois in 1991.
He then served as a civil rights attorney until he was elected to the Illinois state Senate in 1996. However, upon announcing his run for president in 2007, Obama placed his law license in “inactive status” and then changed that status to “retired” upon taking office in the White House in 2009.
Still, MarketWatch noted that Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago while he was serving in the state Senate, suggesting that he has deep knowledge of the U.S. Constitution — an assertion with which conservatives who were paying attention during Obama’s tenure in the White House would likely beg to differ.
In the end, however, unless and until Biden earns the Democrat Party’s nomination and defeats President Donald Trump, who he would nominate to a potential vacancy on the Supreme Court is a moot point. Sorry, Uncle Joe.