Yesterday's trivia question in the Political Junkie segment on Talk of the Nation centered on Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Granholm has been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. The question was, who was the last person to run for governor who served on the court?
The answer: Arthur Goldberg, who was the Democratic nominee in 1970 against New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller (R).
But that led to another question. Granholm was born in Canada. She is constitutionally ineligible to be president, but what about serving on the court?
As it turns out, there are no requirements — age, place of birth — for a justice on the Supreme Court. According to the Web site America.gov,
Although the Constitution imposes specific age, residency and citizenship qualifications for the president of the United States and members of Congress, it sets no similar qualifications for Supreme Court justices, except that every candidate must be the president's choice and acceptable to a majority in the Senate. No prior experience as a judge, no expertise as a constitutionalist, indeed, no training in the law at all, is required.
And, in case you were wondering, the last justice born outside the U.S. was Felix Frankfurter, who was appointed to the court by President Roosevelt in 1939. Frankfurter was born in 1882 in Vienna, Austria.