Obama a Supreme Court justice? 'Too monastic for me'

US President Barack Obama says he has no interest in becoming a Supreme Court justice after he leaves the White House, saying it would be too monastic for him. -- PHOTO: AFP
US President Barack Obama says he has no interest in becoming a Supreme Court justice after he leaves the White House, saying it would be too monastic for him. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Barack Obama loves the law, and teaching.

But he has no interest in becoming a Supreme Court justice after he leaves the White House - "a little bit too monastic for me," he says.

"I love the law, intellectually," he told the New Yorker magazine. "I love nutting out these problems, wrestling with these arguments. I love teaching. I miss the classroom and engaging with students.

"But I think being a justice is a little bit too monastic for me. Particularly after having spent six years and what will be eight years in this bubble, I think I need to get outside a little bit more."

Leon Panetta, Obama's former CIA and defense chief, recently evoked the president's professorial qualities - but in less flattering terms - in his new memoir "Worthy Fights."

Obama too often "relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader," said Panetta. As a result, he argued, the president "avoids the battle, complains and misses opportunities."

Panetta, who retired to his walnut farm in California in 2013 after a long career in politics, said it was good to be thoughtful, but not enough.