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‘Liberal-Leaning’ Justice Souter Retiring

From his fans at the Associated Press:

Source: Justice Souter retiring from high court

By Mark Sherman And Jennifer Loven, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON – Justice David Souter is planning to retire after nearly two decades on the Supreme Court, but his departure is unlikely to change its conservative-liberal split.

President Barack Obama’s first pick for the high court is likely to be a liberal-leaning nominee, much like Souter.

The White House has been told that Souter will retire in June, when the court finishes its work for the summer, a person familiar with his plans said Thursday night. The retirement is likely to take effect only once a successor is confirmed…

At 69, Souter is much younger than either Ginsburg, 76, or Justice John Paul Stevens, 89, the other two liberal justices whose names have been mentioned as possible retirees. Yet those justices have given no indication they intend to retire soon and Ginsburg said she plans to serve into her 80s, despite her recent surgery for pancreatic cancer.

Souter, a regular jogger, is thought to be in excellent health…

Nan Aron, president of the liberal Alliance for Justice, said, "We’re looking for President Obama to choose an eminently qualified candidate who is committed to the core constitutional values, who is committed to justice for all and not just a few."

Some of the names that have been circulating include recently confirmed Solicitor General Elena Kagan; U.S. Appeals Court Judges Sonya Sotomayor, Kim McLane Wardlaw, Sandra Lea Lynch and Diane Pamela Wood; and Leah Ward Sears, chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. Men who have been mentioned as potential nominees include Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein and U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo of Chicago…

The timing may have been unexpected, but Souter has long yearned for a life outside Washington…

But he soon joined in a ruling reaffirming woman’s right to an abortion, a decision from 1992 that remains still perhaps his most noted work on the court.

Souter became a reliable liberal vote on the court and was one of the four dissenters in the 2000 decision in Bush v. Gore that sealed the presidential election for George W. Bush.

Yet as Souter biographer Tinsley Yarbrough noted, "he doesn’t take extreme positions." Indeed, in June, Souter sided with Exxon Mobil Corp. and broke with his liberal colleagues in slashing the punitive damages the company owed Alaskan victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill…

Of course this is old news by now. But we thought everyone would like a place to comment on Mr. Souter’s retirement.

Yet as Souter biographer Tinsley Yarbrough noted, "he doesn’t take extreme positions."

And of course on how our unbiased media masters will treat him and his replacement.

And yes, we question the timing.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 1st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

33 Responses to “‘Liberal-Leaning’ Justice Souter Retiring”

  1. pdsand says:

    The old warhorses can finally begin to rest their weary heads, having outlived Bush. From the Los Angeles Times:

    “Souter to retire from Supreme Court

    The liberal justice is expected to step down this summer. Some legal experts speculate that Obama will nominate a woman to fill Souter’s spot on the high court.
    By David G. Savage
    May 1, 2009
    Reporting from Washington — Justice David H. Souter, a New Hampshire Republican who became a key liberal vote on the Supreme Court, reportedly plans to retire this summer, clearing the way for President Obama to make his first nomination to the high court.

    Since the court has only one woman among its nine justices, most observers have predicted that Obama will select a woman for the first court opening. There is no obvious successor to Souter, and the administration has had just three months to sift through potential nominees.

    Souter’s retirement is not likely to change the court’s ideological balance. He has been a reliable liberal on all of the major issues decided recently, including abortion, civil rights, religion, Guantanamo Bay detention and the death penalty. Obama is expected to appoint a replacement who holds similar views.”


    Funny, the LA times was able to admit that Souter is a reliable liberal. I was watching Fox this morning at the gym, and the infobabe kept saying that Souter is a moderate/left leaner, and that he is glad he will be replaced by an Obama appointee, who will also be a moderate/left leaner.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Fascist / Nazi is more like it!

    • pdsand says:

      I wonder if the head of NAMBLA, or maybe Ahmadenijad is available for the position?

    • Barbie says:

      Whatever happens with the new appointee – no matter how radical, no matter how degenerate and harmful to our country and our constitution this person will be, we can count on the wimpy Republicans to roll right over onto their backs and let the Dems ‘have their way with them’… btw, can’t Lindsay Grahamnesty go to the Dem side with Specter? Small loss.

  2. proreason says:

    I think he is retiring before Hastings can cite him as the poster-boy for the perversions list.

    But seriously, what probably happened is that the WH mobsters had a little chat with Davey boy and “persuaded” him that now is the time to retire.

    We can look forward to someone like Maxime Waters replacing him.

    Souter is far far too conservative for the TMCC.

    • jobeth says:

      I don’t think this is the only level the “arm twisting” is going on behind the scenes. Its everywhere.

      I think a lot of politians have a lot they don’t want exposed (or worse) and can be persuaded to do what ever Obalmy and crowd wants them to do…quit…switch…vote a certain way….etc, etc

  3. beefeater says:

    Seems like a good time to resurrect “Borking”. The Messiah supported a filibuster of Alito, make payback a beach, he will get who who wants but at least go through the procedure.

    • Weasel says:

      It’s all about timing. Souter is a lib and he is taking advantage of Specter’s defection. Now the GOP, even if they had the guts to do it – which I doubt, can’t fillibuster. So “The One” can now pick the biggest, youngest liberal he wants/thinks he can get away with. And this is just the beginning, expect Ginsberg and Stevens to resign or die in office within the next few years. That will give “Uh-bambi” two more picks. So we will be stuck with at least 3 young ultra libs on the court for the next 20-30 years – enough time to outlast as a minimum Scalia, Kennedy and Breyer. Kennedy and Breyer are no great loss, but compared to what will replace them? Be scared, very scared!!! So even if we dump the “Karaoke President” after 4 years, this will be his legacy of pain for the rest of us for years to come.

    • Odie44 says:

      Weasel –

      Whats actually odd about the timing – is Minn has yet to finalize the Senate race – but will in May, with Franken stealing the election, just in time for the 60 Senators to be present.

      The current total is 59 (including Spector). However, Spector switching may hurt the process:

      But here is an interesting tidbit from Michael Dorf – Cornell Law, Dorf Blog, via HotAir:

      IV. BRINGING A MATTER TO A VOTEThe Chairman shall entertain a non-debatable motion to bring a matter before the Committee to a vote. If there is objection to bring the matter to a vote without further debate, a roll call vote of the Committee shall be taken, and debate shall be terminated if the motion to bring the matter to a vote without further debate passes with ten votes in the affirmative, one of which must be cast by the minority. http://www.dorfonlaw.org/2009/04/how-specters-defection-could-make-it.html

    • Weasel says:

      Odie44 – There is a good chance that Souter isn’t even smart enough to know the details of the judiciary committee rules. However, for us to have any hope in the committee, Lindsay Graham has to vote against the lib, but he will trade his vote for Illegal Alien Amnesty and/or a kind word from “The One” in a heartbeat. In the full Senate, the dems can always lean on Snowe, Collins, etc to squeeze out a vote when they need it. “We’re Screwed ’08 (and ’09, ’10…)”!

  4. catie says:

    Well, this confirms what I thought would happen. I figured if McCain won this individual put on the Court by HW would stay but since the Dear Leader won, he’s off to NH. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out Davey.

  5. Odie44 says:

    Didn’t Reid cry about “Roberts not being truthful as to his ideology” and didn’t we go through Alito and Roberts “ad nauseum” criticism of “not being ideological in any way, because it will taint the SC?”

    Yet, from the first second – “Obama likely to pick liberal leaning justice like Souter

    The hypocrisy is breath taking.

    Proreason – have a field day on this one…

    • proreason says:

      The Moron’s kneebreakers were going to out Souter for his little boy fetish, and he made the prudent decision to skulk back to his basement where he can continue to post to Kos without fear of retribution.

      Now TMCC can get somebody who isn’t “limited” by Souter’s elevated “moral clarity”.

      The short list includes the following upstanding citizens: Alcee Hastings, Drooling Barney Franks, Father Pfleger, Bill Clinton, John Murtha, Traitor Kerry, Jesse Jackson Sr., and Thunder Butt.

    • Barbie says:

      Why would the Moron out Souter for having a little boy fetish when the libs hold perverts in high regard? I would think the Moron would go after Kennedy. Once Kennedy goes, our country is finished.

  6. Douglas says:

    Let’s see if we can come up with some suggestions!

    Hmm, needs to be a black female. A gay black female would be a plus I suppose.



    Barry himself? He does call himself a “Constitutional professor”.

    • pdsand says:

      I think it’s time for an illegal alien on the court.

    • pdsand says:

      Blago hasn’t been talking lately, maybe he’s holding out for a nomination…

    • JohnMG says:

      Let’s see? A black, female, gay, transvestite, cross-dressing, illegal alien pedophile…..with swine flu. Yeah……That’s the ticket!

  7. JohnMG says:

    Ya gotta admit, this Souter announcement sure as hell knocked the “Chrysler chapter 11” news off the front page. Once again, timing is everything.

  8. GL0120 says:

    I’d like to see the Republicans grow a set and make TCO fight for confirmation of whomever he nominates.
    I’d also like to see money grow on trees, and winning lottery tickets to show up in my mailbox.
    I’ll probably see the money and lottery tickets before I see a Republican with balls though.

    • heykev says:

      I would agree with you GLO. Never in my lifetime have I ever witnessed elected any Republican having testicular fortitude.

      I am also tired of this 100+ days of unending bad news. I had thought the Clinton years were bad, that time pales in comparison to this.

      PRO – I indeed as you say Davie as a “little boy fetish” why didn’t anyone “persuade” him earlier to step down – gently or otherwise? Would have been nice if he retired a year or 2 ago.

  9. BatK says:

    Hmm, needs to be a black female. A gay black female would be a plus I suppose.


  10. Colonel1961 says:

    Let’s pray it’s not Okra Winfrey…

  11. Barbie says:

    So one more perverted lefty will take Souter’s place. How DID Souter become a supreme court justice (should this be capitalized?) when GHWBush appointed him as a moderate conservative to the court? Did Souter misrepresent himself on purpose (you know, lie like libs do) or was GHW ignorant or blind to his record? I’d really like to understand this. Everyone says how liberal Souter turned out to be, but he was appointed by a conservative (laugh) Republican president.

    btw, I heard on Fox this morning Souter considered the 1st Monday of October to be equal to having an intellectual lobotomy. If I understood that comment correctly, if he had such little respect for his position and the SCOTUS, he should have resigned years ago. Souter is undoubtedly a lib – no one is equal, apparently in his own mind, to his own overwhelming intellect – but maybe I didn’t fully understand the comment. I’d hate to think a Supreme Court Justice would have such little regard for the position. Maybe he meant he didn’t like living in Washington…

    • pdsand says:

      If I’m not mistaken, it was Souter who said that as a lawyer, and a lower level judge, it’s a person’s duty to follow the law and the constitution as written. That apparently was how he got his reputation as a conservative. But he said as a supreme court justice, the highest court in the land, and the court of last resort for the broken and downtrodden, it is his priviledge and duty to make rulings that make things right. A la, a person who alledgedly respects and believes in the rule of law, once on the supreme court can then run amuck because they are in a position of power.

    • pdsand says:

      I interpret his comment to mean that he didn’t like having to rule on hot-button issues of the day, dealing in matters that are basically political. He would rather have been exercising his intellect defining the exact parameters of the sixth amendment and the commerce clause as it affects the price of tea in china. Real high flying stuff that nobody would have any interest in other than the law faculty at Yale.
      In this case, his is a problem he has brought upon himself. By being an activist judge and inserting the court into the political world, he brought more and more political cases before the court, thereby forcing himself to be a little more activist each year. Obviously, if the court hadn’t legislated Roe v Wade in the first place, and upheld it in Planned Parenthood v Casey, there wouldn’t be a thousand challenges to Roe v Wade each year.

  12. Reality Bytes says:

    Hey! Is that Souter in the new Crysler Barackbashizzle?

  13. canary says:

    It’s 2009 ! Why don’t they have a way to test candidates.

  14. bobbys says:

    Im rooting for Dr Joycelyn Elders, She already has the uniform and just needs sneakers, She would push National Health care, Drug use and Masturbation, She the whole package.

    I know what your thinking , Shes to much to the right for Obama but she would be a Shoo in.

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