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Thread: Supreme Court Justice David Souter to retire

  1. #1
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    The liberal justices want to ensure a liberal replacement when they retire...

    Supreme Court Justice Souter To Retire

    by Nina Totenberg, April 30, 2009 · NPR has learned that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire at the end of the current court term.

    The vacancy will give President Obama his first chance to name a member of the high court and begin to shape its future direction.

    At 69, Souter is nowhere near the oldest member of the court. In fact, he is in the younger half of the court's age range, with five justices older and just three younger. So far as anyone knows, he is in good health. But he has made clear to friends for some time that he wanted to leave Washington, a city he has never liked, and return to his native New Hampshire. Now, according to reliable sources, he has decided to take the plunge and has informed the White House of his decision.

    Factors in his decision no doubt include the election of President Obama, who would be more likely to appoint a successor attuned to the principles Souter has followed as a moderate-to-liberal member of the court's more liberal bloc over the past two decades.

    In addition, Souter was apparently satisfied that neither the court's oldest member, 89-year-old John Paul Stevens, nor its lone woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had cancer surgery over the winter, wanted to retire at the end of this term. Not wanting to cause a second vacancy, Souter apparently had waited to learn his colleagues' plans before deciding his own.

    Given his first appointment to the high court, most observers expect Obama will appoint a woman, since the court currently has only one female justice and Obama was elected with strong support from women. But an Obama pick would be unlikely to change the ideological makeup of the court.

    Souter was a Republican appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, largely on the recommendation of New Hampshire's former Gov. John Sununu, who had become the first President Bush's chief of staff.

    But Souter surprised Bush and other Republicans by joining the court's more liberal wing.

    He generally votes with Stevens and the two justices who were appointed by President Bill Clinton — making up the bloc of four more liberal members of the court, a group that has usually been in the minority throughout Souter's tenure.

    Possible nominees who have been mentioned as being on a theoretical short list include Elena Kagan, the current solicitor general who represents the government before the Supreme Court; Sonia Sotomayor, a Hispanic judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; and Diane Wood, a federal judge in Chicago who taught at the University of Chicago at the same time future President Barack Obama was teaching constitutional law there.

    President Obama's choice has an excellent chance of being confirmed by the U.S. Senate, where Democrats now have an advantage of 59 seats to the Republicans' 40.

    By the time a vote on a successor is taken, the Senate is anticipated to have a 60th Democrat, as the Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to approve the recount that elected Democrat Al Franken over incumbent Republican Norm Coleman in that state.

  2. #2
    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Actually, the catch phrase would be more....

    "And so it continues." :?

  3. #3
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    I for one am not at all sorry to see Souter go.

    - What da hay?

    Keep Calm and Carry On

  4. #4
    Regular Member MetalChris's Avatar
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    Teej wrote:
    I for one am not at all sorry to see Souter go.
    +1 What's the worse they can do, appoint another "progressive" anti-Constitution judge?

  5. #5
    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Well, maybe now Dave will be able to take more leisurely walks in gay outdoor hookup spots. Maybe he could ask us about a firearm so he could avoid being mugged like last time??

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