Friday, May 1, 2009

Justice Souter Plans to Retire

NY Times: Souter’s Exit Gives Obama First Opening, by Peter Baker & Jeff Zeleny:

Justice Souter Justice David H. Souter plans to retire at the end of the term in June, giving President Obama his first appointment to the Supreme Court, four people informed about the decision said Thursday night.

Justice Souter, who was appointed in 1990 by a Republican president, the first George Bush, but became one of the most reliable members of the court’s liberal wing, has grown increasingly sour on Washington and intends to return to his home state, New Hampshire, according to the people briefed on his plans. One official said the decision might be announced as early as Friday.

The departure will open the first seat for a Democratic president to fill in 15 years and could prove a test of Mr. Obama’s plans for reshaping the nation’s judiciary. Confirmation battles for the Supreme Court in recent years have proved to be intensely partisan and divisive moments in Washington, but Mr. Obama has more leeway than his predecessors because his party holds such a strong majority in the Senate.


See also speculation on SCOTUSblog at to potential replacements: Politico Chat, by Tom Goldstein:

My bet is that - this early on - it’s a big and diverse list.  It would have some very well known judges (for example, Diane Wood and Sonia Sotomayor), academics (Elena Kagan (now Solicitor General), Pam Karlan, and Kathleen Sullivan), and politicians (Jennifer Granholm, Amy Klobuchar, Claire McCaskill, and Janet Napolitano).

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/reproductive_rights/2009/05/ny-times-souters-exit-gives-obama-first-opening-by-peter-baker-jeff-zeleny-justice-david-h-souter-plans-to-retire-at.html

President/Executive Branch, Supreme Court | Permalink

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