By J. Taylor Rushing - 04/13/10 11:53 PM EDT
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), two senators with significant legal backgrounds who have been mentioned as possible Supreme Court nominees, took themselves out of the running Tuesday.
Despite recent media speculation, both senators said they weren’t interested in being named by President Barack Obama to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens, who announced last week he will retire this summer.
“I love my job now — who wouldn’t?” she said. “We’re in some tough economic times, and Minnesota has one of the most junior delegations in the Senate, and I would never abandon the people of my state at this tough time.”
Klobuchar also poked fun at the possibility of being nominated for the court.
“I could never get it anyway, because of my speeches,” Klobuchar said. “You know how [Sonia] Sotomayor said she was a wise Latina? I always refer to myself as a wise Slovenian.”
The Washington Post cited both senators as potential Supreme Court nominees on Saturday, and MSNBC has cited Klobuchar.
Elected in 2006, Klobuchar is a former chief prosecutor of Hennepin County, Minnesota’s largest county by population. She was also a legal aide to Vice President Walter Mondale and spent several years as a partner in two private law firms.
Whitehouse, 54, is a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general who was elected in 2006 after defeating former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R).
In a statement, Whitehouse gave the same reason as Klobuchar.
“There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than representing Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate,” Whitehouse said. “There are so many challenges facing our state, and I want to continue to serve in the Senate to help address those challenges and fight for Rhode Islanders.”