Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens
HOPKINS, Minn. -- Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she likes her day job and wants to keep it, even if President Obama were to nominate her to fill an opening on the United States Supreme Court.
"Well, first of all," she said Monday, "I wouldn't want to wear black every day, all right?"
Klobuchar was touring Hopkins High School, where she was talking about changes in the National School Lunch Program, when reporters asked her about speculation that she could be named to replace Justice John Paul Stevens, an 89-year-old who could step down soon.
"We're at a time when things are very rocky economically, and I would never abandon my work for the state of Minnesota," she said. "But it is an honor to be on a list for then Supreme Court."
Bob Schieffer of CBS brought up Klobuchar's name Sunday on "Face the Nation."
"There was some interesting speculation that maybe Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota might be on the short list," he said, even though CBS didn't include Klobuchar on its own short list of possible nominees.
If Stevens were to retire, which many believe could happen as soon as this summer, Klobuchar has a lot going for her.
She's only 49 years old, and she is a former prosecutor. She's also a senator, which means her confirmation hearings would be held by colleagues who might treat her more favorably than others in this current polarized political climate.
"Rarely does the Senate reject one of their own," said Hamline University's David Schultz. "It's very hard to do that."
But Schultz said Klobuchar's lack of experience as a judge could hold her back, and some liberals in Congress might think she is too much of a centrist.
"A lot of liberals are really hoping that when Stevens steps down, who is clearly the most liberal member of the U.S. Supreme Court, that they're going to find someone who's going to be identical to him," he said.
And there's something else working against Klobuchar: She's a Democrat in a state with a Republican governor. That means, if she were to leave the Senate before her term expires in 2012, Gov. Tim Pawlenty likely would replace her with someone from his own party.
Given that Democrats already are bracing for a tough election year in 2010, they would not be happy to lose a Senate seat that wasn't supposed to be in play for another two years.
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