Bombshell: Souter retiring

posted at 10:25 pm on April 30, 2009 by Allahpundit

The rumors were swirling this afternoon and now NPR confirms. Farewell at last to Bush I’s worst mistake.

NPR has learned that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire at the end of the court’s current term…

Souter is expected to remain on the bench until a successor has been chosen and confirmed, which may or may not be accomplished before the court reconvenes in October.

At 69, Souter is nowhere near the oldest member of the court, but he has made clear to friends for some time now that he wanted to leave Washington, a city he has never liked, and return to his native New Hampshire.

I wonder if he saved this as some sort of “100 days” gift to The One or whether he waited until the Democrats were on the brink of a filibuster-proof majority, just to make extra sure the GOP was powerless to stop his replacement. Whichever it is, needless to say, we’re at Obama’s mercy. The pick will almost certainly be a woman — at 48, Elena Kagan is young and the frontrunner as Solicitor General although Sonia Sotomayor’s name has been kicked around too — but beyond that, the sky’s the limit. The only “good” news is that Souter was one of the most reliably liberal votes on the Court. Barry O would have to appoint an out-and-out socialist, practically, to tilt it further left.

Update: As noted in the comments, Specter is on the Judiciary Committee that will quiz Souter’s replacement. He voted no on Bork in 1987. Think he’ll have the stones to oppose this one if he/she’s too “radical” given that his reelection prospects are squarely in Obama’s hands?


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So is the Swine Flu officially a non-story now? Interesting that Souter chose today to announce, just as the MSM was starting to question the stupidity of Biden’s comments.

angryed on May 1, 2009 at 10:11 AM

The only “good” news is that Souter was one of the most reliably liberal votes on the Court. Barry O would have to appoint an out-and-out socialist, practically, to tilt it further left.

Are you saying that the Court is already tilted towards the left? That’s clearly preposterous. The only tilting that the Court has done recently is when O’Connor (center-right) was replaced by Alito (hard right).

orange on May 1, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Interesting that Souter chose today to announce, just as the MSM was starting to question the stupidity of Biden’s comments.

angryed on May 1, 2009 at 10:11 AM

So you think that the White House was so worried about Biden’s gaffe-of-the-week that they pressured Souter to announce his retirement to distract? That’s ludicrous.

orange on May 1, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Elections have consequences.

gwelf on May 1, 2009 at 10:08 AM

Enough of this stupid line. Limbaugh uses this line consistently to deflect criticism from himself. He knows he is a much responsible for what has happened because of his undying support of the GOP during its most corrupt years.

Sad to say, I too am responsible since I did everything I could to defend them as well, using the same reasoning as Rush. At least I admit it.

True_King on May 1, 2009 at 10:40 AM

orange on May 1, 2009 at 10:37 AM

I agree with your last two posts. But somehow, I don’t think most of the others on this board will be so generous!

For someone to say that Souter was the “most reliably liberal” on this court shows absolutely no grasp of the court, or of Souter.

asc85 on May 1, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Sortofa slap in the face of the man that put him in office. Souter could have retired a few months ago and allowed the son of the man who appointed him to appoint his successor. But I guess ideology trumps loyalty…

Go back to Vermont, or New Hampshire, or whatever other little dinky state you came from that is over represented in the Senate, you partisan hack.

tommylotto on May 1, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Senate voted against Duh One yesterday. This replacement process may not go smoothly.

Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.

Pretty darn interesting if you ask me.

platypus on May 1, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Well, the timing certainly tells you all you ever needed to know about where Souter’s true philosophical loyalties have always lain. And we have George H. W. to blame for that one. On the dark side, his replacement will certainly be much, much worse.

Blacklake on May 1, 2009 at 11:15 AM

The Bench Memos from The Corner lay it out sadly- Obama voted against Roberts because he was following law, not his “feelings”.
This pick will be so bad he may as well appoint Bill Ayers.
P.S. – I hope Souter gets mugged again when he goes back to his midnight gay bar crawling in Manchester.

jjshaka on May 1, 2009 at 11:54 AM

I wonder who Soros will pick??

cntrlfrk on May 1, 2009 at 12:09 PM

I wonder who Soros will pick??

Himself?

VanPalin on May 1, 2009 at 12:56 PM

I read the biography that was the most recent on the Court. Souter really has never enjoyed Washington DC.

It’s interesting that he’s actually younger than many.

AnninCA on May 1, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Souter is just a narcissistic “Rube in a Robe” leftist and O’bunghole will appoint ANOTHER leftist “Rube in a Robe”.

nelsonknows on May 1, 2009 at 5:02 PM

I see this as a good thing. It comes before the 2010 elections and it will demonstrate to the public, how important it is to have divided power in the house and senate. The public will see that Obama puts in a radical constitutional reformer activist judge and the debate will be on! We will see his true colors now and so will all the public.
.
Also, as an aside, the word is he is going to appoint a woman latina. He wants to appoint a judge based on a sex and ethnicity and not on the best person for the job! Now if that’s not racist and sexist I don’t know what is!

JeffVader on May 1, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Adios, chump.

la.rt.wngr on May 1, 2009 at 8:37 PM

Expectation. Obama will choose an America hating crazy, with cover from the press. I mean someone who really hates everything this country stands for and has a point of view similar to the Ku Klux Klan, but on the left.

pat on May 1, 2009 at 12:47 AM

.
The Ku Klux Klan is democrat through and through.

darktood on May 4, 2009 at 4:02 AM

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