Justice Souter to Retire from the Supreme Court

Earlier today I asked Is Souter Thinking About Leaving the Court? Per NPR, the answer is yes.

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

The court has completed hearing oral arguments for the year and will be issuing rulings and opinions until the end of June.

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.

More as we hear it...

Tags: Chuck Grassley, David Souter, SCOTUS, Supreme Court (all tags)

Comments

33 Comments

filibuster time

The GOP will obstruct any appointee that come down the pike.

The trick is for Obama to choose a progressive, but one without controversial judicial decisions or writings.

Since Obama's first term appointees are likely to be defensive, he has to overcome the filibuster, even if Franken is seated.

by esconded 2009-04-30 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: filibuster time

I disagree. He should choose the most progressive choice he can find on this first pick. If they choose to fight it, he can "lose" the battle and choose a progressive who still fairly leftward, but which they will feel more obligated to accept given their reaction to first choice. That would be the non-defensive smart move. Your approach guarantees we do not get a progressive but, instead,a  moderate. I do, however, agree about the paper trail.

by bruh3 2009-04-30 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: filibuster time
That's why I thought Dawn Johnson was a poor pick
for the legal counsel spot--she gave the Republicans easy targets.  Surely Obama's team could have found a less controversial progressive.
by esconded 2009-04-30 07:02PM | 0 recs
This will be a good Specter test

Franken may be seated in about six weeks, hopefully. Then we'll have a filibuster-proof Senate...at least in name.

Since SCOTUS nominees tend to hinge on social issues, I, frankly, don't see any Democrats being much of a problem minus Ben Nelson...and MAYBE Bob Casey...but as far as I can see, neither has had much of an issue with Obama's three judicial nominees so far.

So, this means, the 60th vote may lie on Specter...this might be a good test for him. I can't see Democrats supporting someone who doesn't, at least, vote for a Democratic President's SCOTUS nominee. When was the last time a member of the President's party voted against a SCOTUS nominee?

by DTOzone 2009-04-30 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: This will be a good Specter test

Difficult question because Clinton focused on choosing moderates that would appeal to conservatives.

by bruh3 2009-04-30 06:24PM | 0 recs
Ginsburg and Breyer are moderates?

Oh boy, if they're moderates, then I'm predicting outrage over who Obama nominates.

by DTOzone 2009-04-30 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Ginsburg and Breyer are moderates?

My view of this is simple: No matter what your idealogy is along the leftward side fo the spectrum, the reality is we need a liberal force to balance the activist conservative swing of the court. I don't just mean on social issues. But on a whole group of issues ranging from criminal law to share holders rights. These other cases, unlike say abortion, tend to be ignored but they have a huge impact of the way we live our lives. I do not think he should pick a moderate. We need more liberals on the court just to get it to a place of even being moderate in terms of the balancing of views. Right now we have most a far right bloc with some moderates and one liberal.

by bruh3 2009-04-30 06:30PM | 0 recs
Well

if he picks a justice in the mold of Ginsburg or Breyer, then I, for one, will be THRILLED.

Both, btw, got over 90 votes in the Senate.

by DTOzone 2009-04-30 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Well

You are setting up the same trap as the stimulus. Obama will never get 90 votes. We don't live in that world because we live in a world with the Republicans and Conservative Democrats who are in power now.

by bruh3 2009-04-30 07:03PM | 0 recs
Yeah

The same thing was said in 1993 when Clinton appointed Ginsburg.

by DTOzone 2009-04-30 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah

this is where people get into trouble. 1993 is not 2009. The make up of the Senate still included GOP'ers who had not bought onto the scorch earth policy that the GOP has had since 1993, and which we saw even earlier this year with the stimulus, and multiple other votes since then.  Gingrich's revolution had not fully taken a hold of the party until after 1994. What you wish for s exaclty that- wishful thinking. It does not reflect the behavior of those who are presently in Congress. That's what I used as my barometer. Not who was there in 1993, but who is in Congress now. There are other differences. In 1993, we hade a moderate court. Today we have a far right court. In 1993, we were faced with the upward swing in the Reagan revolution. today, the right is destroyed. There is not reason at all that I can think of for nominating a Clinton style pick. There is every reason- if one wants true moderation-to choose a liberal counterweight to the conservative strangle hold on the court. Not the least of which they can start influencing the language of decisions.

by bruh3 2009-04-30 07:14PM | 0 recs
Clinton-style pick?

I'm sorry, but if Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn't sufficently liberal enough, then I highly doubt you're going to be happy with any justice any Democratic President appoints.

by DTOzone 2009-04-30 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah

I am reading on other sites, by the way, that he will pick a woman. something i agree with.

by bruh3 2009-04-30 07:16PM | 0 recs
Yeah Sonia Sotomayor

whom I'm sure certain people will find problems with...and I'm sure I can predict who they will be.

by DTOzone 2009-04-30 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah Sonia Sotomayor

I like her biograpy, but it would be nice to have someone who has not been a judge all their legal career. Below, someone links to a potential list. Many of whom seem good to me. My point to you above is that we should not approach this from the Clinton style approch of looking for a "moderate." That should nto be our goal. I am not saying who the pick should be.

by bruh3 2009-04-30 07:22PM | 0 recs
Yeah that was me lol

Sotomayor would be an excellent choice...and I would eat my shoe if the Republicans are able to hold a filibuster on her. Sotomayor is a bipartisan favorite. She'll get 60 votes easily.

I can imagine ANY Democrat, Specter included, who would vote against Sotomayor, especially for cloture. She's the type of candidate Specter would support if he were still a Republican.

In 1998, she got 67 votes in a Republican Senate that held her nomination up for like a year. Among the current GOP Senators who supported her then; Judd Gregg, Bob Bennett, Thad Cochran, Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe...Arlen Specter also supported her. Even Santorum supported her.

by DTOzone 2009-04-30 07:39PM | 0 recs
I nominate

I nominate Jerome.

by Zeitgeist9000 2009-04-30 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: I nominate

Heaven Help Us.

by 30000Fine 2009-04-30 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Justice Souter to Retire from the Supreme Cour

More on the story here

by Natch 2009-04-30 06:45PM | 0 recs
What we need

We dont need a liberal or a conservatice....we need someone who will interpret the constitution as written when making decisions. That was the intention of the founders when creating the court.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-04-30 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: What we need

Historically the intentions of the founders were as confused as the times are now now. If they hand intended what you described they would have amended the Constitution with Marbury v Madison.

by bruh3 2009-04-30 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: What we need

The rejection of marbury vs madison essentially created the concept of judicial review which simply reinforced the checks and balance system, thereby preventing either the Executive or Legislative branch from passing rules or laws which were in contrast to the United States Constitution. The role of the court isnt to create new law, it is to determine if laws and rules put in place are a violation of the constition.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-05-01 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: What we need

Let me clarify somethign as well. I am not saying that the Justices should interpret the Constitution based solely on the "intent of the authors". They should base decisions on that intent while taking into account  its role and purpose in modern times. The two concepts are easily applicable and can coexist.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-05-01 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: What we need

Please provide us the proof that this was the intention of the FF.    Documents, letters, etc will be acceptable.  

by 30000Fine 2009-04-30 07:07PM | 0 recs
Not needed

Just ask Antonin Scalia...

He Channel Jefferson and Adams on a daily basis!

by WashStateBlue 2009-05-01 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Justice Souter to Retire from the Supreme Cour

Well it will be nice to get someone younger on the court... preferably early 50's.   Still hoping Stevens retires before 2012, or even better, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Kennedy or Alito die or retire before that time.  

by 30000Fine 2009-04-30 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Justice Souter to Retire from the Supreme Cour

I dont think wishign death on someone because you oppose their views is a very good thing to do. Certainly as Democrats it is beneath us...

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-05-01 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Justice Souter to Retire from the Supreme Cour

Everybody dies.  The concept that "wishing death on somebody" is inherently wrong is a stick shoved up our collective asses by religion.

by lojasmo 2009-05-04 04:55PM | 0 recs
It's going to be a woman

I think the list will go as follows;

Sonia Sotomoyor
Elena Kagan
Harold Koh (if it's not a woman)

I'm taking a look at Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears.

by DTOzone 2009-04-30 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: It's going to be a woman

Sonia Sotomayor would be a fine choice.

by Charles Lemos 2009-04-30 07:15PM | 0 recs
I predict

if it's Sotomayor, many on the netroots will find something to complain about anyway.

by DTOzone 2009-04-30 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: It's going to be a woman

I just looked up the first person on your list. i like her bio.

by bruh3 2009-04-30 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Justice Souter to Retire from the Supreme Cour

I've just posted a (partial?) shortlist for Obama

by Natch 2009-04-30 07:17PM | 0 recs

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