Since Justice Souter announced yesterday his retirement from the Supreme Court, speculation has been rampant on who will fill his seat. It seems everybody is assuming President Obama will tap a woman as Souter's replacement, with Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Solicitor General Elena Kagan being the names most commonly uttered.
You know what seems odd to me? The Secretary of State is a woman, and nobody is talking about the possibility of Obama nominating her.
Is it far fetched that Obama would choose Hillary Clinton? Perhaps. But consider this: he didn't ask her to be his running mate, which suggests he didn't want her too close to him. Obama may have felt, however, that he owed Clinton something, and it was going to be perceived as an insult if he gave her a low level cabinet post, so he gave her a top job Secretary of State.
But if you still assume that Obama doesn't want Clinton too close to him, and that he's got to put her somewhere prominent, why not just put her on the Supreme Court? Her concept of jurisprudence is similar to his; plus if she's on the Court there is probably no chance she might break rank and challenge Obama in the primaries in 2012 if his poll numbers are low. Furthermore, there's a tradition of the Senate confirming High Court nominees quickly if it's one of their own under consideration--or at least there was such a tradition back when it wasn't uncommon for someone to go from the Senate to the Court.
As an added bonus, Clinton in the new position wouldn't be embarrassed by mistranslations when she meets with Russian dignitaries! Sounds like a win-win proposition to me.