WASHINGTON — It’s probably way too early to speculate on who might be a good pick for the next Supreme Court vacancy, what with Elena Kagan still having to be confirmed, but two senior Senate Democrats think a certain wise Slovenian would be perfect for the job.
The comments came Wednesday as a group of senators on the Judiciary Committee were discussing Kagan’s qualifications for the high court. After bemoaning the lack of gender diversity on the Court, Chuck Schumer, the number three Democrat in the Senate, cheered the fact that Kagan would become the third female justice on the Court, then veered slightly off message.
“Maybe someday we’ll have a fourth or fifth?” Schumer suggested wryly, as he put his hand on Klobuchar’s shoulder.
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, followed by accidentally/on-purpose confusing Klobuchar’s title from senator to justice.
“Stay on message!” Klobuchar said, laughing.
Klobuchar has of course dealt with this sort of speculation before, having been long-listed by many in the media as a possible dark-horse pick for the nomination that went instead to Kagan. She wasn’t on the official short list, but as a former prosecutor her name does keep coming up in that conversation.
It was in an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball two months ago when Klobuchar ruled herself out of the running with a joke that has become famous.
“I couldn’t get it because of my past speeches, you know, all the times, remember [Sonia] Sotomayor — the ‘wise Latina woman’? You can’t imagine how many times I referred to myself as a ‘wise Slovenian woman,’ Chris. It’s over.”
Clearly, however, her colleagues think it’s possible.
“I love my job, I have said I do not want that job — I love this job,” a clearly-flattered Klobuchar said after the presser concluded, adding that her colleagues don’t understand that Minnesota (which has had seven different senators in the past 10 years) could use a little less turnover in its Senate delegation.