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Hillary Clinton is open to idea of nominating Obama to Supreme Court

Last Updated Jan 27, 2016 1:40 PM EST

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said she was open to appointing President Obama as a Supreme Court justice.

At a campaign event in Decorah, Iowa, a voter asked the Democratic presidential contender if she would consider making such a move.

"Wow, what a great idea. Nobody has ever suggested that to me. Wow, I love that, wow," the Democratic presidential candidate responded. "He may have a few other things to do, but I tell you that's a great idea."

Clinton acknowledged that the next president might have the opportunity to appoint several Supreme Court justices. Nearly half of the court -- four of the nine justices -- has served on it for 20 to 30 years and are either over the age of 80 or approaching it.

"We need new justices who actually understand the challenges we face," Clinton said.

But it won't be as easy as voters might think. The Senate would have to approve the next president's Supreme Court appointments.

"He's brilliant and he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor. He's got all the credentials," Clinton added about Mr. Obama's qualifications. "Now, we do have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed, so you're going to have to help me on that."

The president taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago and was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review when he attended Harvard Law School.

But it may not be a position Mr. Obama necessarily wants. In an interview with The New Yorker in 2014, the president was asked if he would ever consider becoming a judge.

"When I got out of law school, I chose not to clerk," he said. "Partly because I was an older student, but partly because I don't think I have the temperament to sit in a chamber and write opinions."

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.