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White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday threw cold water on the idea President Obama would accept an appointment to the Supreme Court after he leaves office.
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonObama and Trump haven’t talked since inauguration Perez, Ellison start multistate ‘turnaround tour’ for Dems Watergate reporter on Russia: 'I’ve been saying for a while there’s a coverup going on' MORE floated the possibility this week, calling it a “great idea” to nominate Obama to the nation’s highest court. But Earnest said the 44th president has other plans after he leaves office.
“My guess is that his aspirations for his post-presidency extend beyond a Supreme Court appointment,” the spokesman said of Obama.
Obama, a graduate of Harvard Law who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, “would have plenty of ideas for how he would do a job like that,” Earnest said. But he added Obama would prefer to handle a wider range of issues after he leaves the White House.
Speaking at an Iowa campaign rally Tuesday, Clinton herself acknowledged the idea was a long shot. “He may have other things to do,” she said.
The president himself downplayed his interest in a court appointment in 2014.
“I think being a justice is a little bit too monastic for me,” he told The New Yorker. “Particularly after having spent six years and what will be eight years in this bubble, I think I need to get outside a little bit more.”
Obama has said he wants to help young African-American men through his My Brother’s Keeper initiative and advance science and technology education after his presidency.
Only one other president in history served on the Supreme Court. William Howard Taft was nominated to serve as chief justice in 1921, eight years after leaving office.
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