Souter to Retire From Supreme Court

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Souter to Retire From Supreme Court

    FOXNews.com - Reports: Souter to Retire From Supreme Court - US Supreme Court | Cases | Justices

    Reports: Souter to Retire From Supreme Court

    Friday, May 01, 2009

    July 9, 2008: U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, smiles after speaking during a dedication ceremony at the State Supreme Courthouse in Concord.

    Supreme Court Justice David Souter has reportedly decided to retire from the Supreme Court, a move that will provide President Barack Obama his first opportunity to nominate someone to the nation's highest court.

    The White House has been told that Souter will retire in June, when the court finishes its work for the summer, a source familiar with his plans said Thursday night. He almost certainly would remain on the bench until a successor is confirmed.

    FOX News has not independently confirmed the report. The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for Souter.

    A Supreme Court spokeswoman issued no comment on Souter's speculated retirement.

    Souter, 69, is widely regarded as one of the most liberal members of the bench. As such, his departure would not likely lead to a significant change in the close idealogical split that currently defines the Court.

    Souter's presence in the current liberal block of the Court is a long-standing matter of frustration for conservatives who feel his appointment in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush a Republican was a missed opportunity.

    Two years later, Souter joined Justice Anthony Kennedy and now retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (who were appointed by Republican Ronald Reagan) in crafting an opinion that affirmed the right to an abortion. The opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey still stands as the most significant abortion related case since Roe v. Wade.

    Souter was also part of majority in Kelo v. New London. The 2005 case that gave local governments the right to take private property by eminent domain and give it to other private interests. The decision led to protests outside Souter's beloved New Hampshire home.

    That home may very well be part of the reason he's leaving the bench. Souter is rarely seen in Washington outside the courtroom. "We know that he is attached to his hometown," Tushnet said. "But he always took his duties at the Court very seriously."

    "One of the leaders of the dissents," is how University of Kentucky law professor and former Souter clerk Paul Salamanca described Souter's legacy because of the frequency with which he found himself at odds with the numerically superior conservative justices. Salamanca said in teaching his students about legal writing, he utilizes a little-known dissent from 1996 in a case involving the Seminole Tribe.

    Souter also was in the minority in Bush v. Gore where he thought Florida should have been given more time to count ballots. Instead, the 5-4 ruling halted the vote-counting and led to George W. Bush's presidential victory.

    Interest groups immediately began gearing up for what could be a grueling battle over the president's first pick to the high court.

    "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," said Nan Aron, president of the liberal Alliance for Justice.

    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.

    Souter has never made any secret of his dislike for Washington, once telling acquaintances he had "the world's best job in the world's worst city." When the court finishes its work for the summer, he quickly departs for his beloved New Hampshire.

    National Public Radio first reported Souter's plans Thursday night.
    The bats will be coming out of the belfry now.

    I suspect there is little chance for a conservative. But, it also should not tip the balance of SCOTUS for gun laws.

    We will see.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array DPro.40's Avatar
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    Here we go. One foot in the door for Obama one Kanobi
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    Distinguished Member Array Der Alte's Avatar
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    Souter is another Arlen Spector. Appointed by Bush and supposedly conservative - but during his tour on the court he was definitly left leaning. His replacement will likely be a female that is a raging liberal.
    Its a shame that youth is wasted on the young.

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    His replacement appointment will also be young, thus on the Court for a long time. The effect on 2A will be "interesting" to say the least.
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; May 1st, 2009 at 09:52 PM.

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    This probably will not change the court from its present leanings in the short term, but if more appointments are filled...trouble could be on the horizon.

    Stay armed...with this appointment...stay safe!
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    Frankly, unless something happens to the health of Thomas, or Scalia, I doubt the court will change during the next 4 or 8 years. Whichever way you want it to change, it won't happen until after 2016 except by accident or illness.

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    We have seen in the last fifty years that judges who pretended to uphold the Constitution turned into just the opposite. Souter will not be missed. Maybe, just maybe, the raging liberal Obama will nominate will actual turn into a brilliant legal mind like Scalia, Roberts and Thomas rather than someone who looks to judge based on international laws.

    More to the point, the fact that the Supreme Court is now simply a political body should offend everyone. The job is rather easy: compare the facts with the law in cases of appropriate jurisdiction. The fact that liberals and libertarians encourage the Court to make social policy would cause the Founders to roll in their graves.

    So, now we worry not whether they will uphold the Constitution, but rather they will invent rights, follow international law, and condone the stealing of private property.

    Madison understood the dangers as he wrote in Federalist 47:

    The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. Were the federal Constitution, therefore, really chargeable with the accumulation of power, or with a mixture of powers, having a dangerous tendency to such an accumulation, no further arguments would be necessary to inspire a universal reprobation of the system.
    We have gone well beyond his fears. Of course, the tyranny of liberals can no longer be challenged as long as the Executive and Legislature has the Court on 'their side.'

    Independent judiciary?

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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    Retsupt is correct... Souter isn't the news, and neither is his replacement...

    The news is Ginsberg, and her replacement...
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

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    "Threat" to constitutionality is correct read, IMO.

    From a FOX News article, 5/1/09:
    "(Obama) thinks judges should have empathy for certain litigants who come before them. Of course if you have empathy for everybody who comes before you, there are two sides to every case. If you have empathy for both sides then that's the same as having no empathy at all. So what he means is he wants empathy for one side and what's wrong with that is it is being partial instead of being impartial. A judge is supposed to have empathy for no one but simply to follow the law."
    Here is how candidate Obama described that view at a rally in Westerville, Ohio, on March 2, 2008:

    "I want my justice to understand that part of the role of the court is to look out for the people who don't have political power," Obama said. "The people who are on the outside. The people who aren't represented. The people who don't have a lot of money; who don't have connections. That's the role of the court."
    In plain language, this reads:
    • The court should be biased.
    • The court should appreciate it can give people power they cannot get via the representation they do have.

    Slip, slip, slip ...

    Time to contact the representatives, again.
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    "I want my justice to understand that part of the role of the court is to look out for the people who don't have political power,"

    Well, since I have no political power even though I work my tail off for my representative and donate, I can go with that type of Justice; one who will look out for the people. There is nothing inherently in conflict with The Constitution to hold that point of view.

    What we have now are too many judges and representatives who look out for the big corporations. We have them in The Senate which today failed to reign in the mortgage industry, and we have them in the judicial positions where judges routinely uphold all manner of agreements and contracts which are abusive to consumers--think credit card agreements, cell phone agreements, banking agreements--all rife with gotch-ya stuff buried in fine print and ambiguous language that is almost always interpreted by the binding Arbitrators (private judges) you are forced to use instead of real judges, against the consumer's interest.

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    No one was ever forced to enter into a contract. The government on the other hand, forces people to do things they don't want to all the time, with the very real threat of guns and imprisonment.

    But I believe that the Obama pick is easy to predict - just look at the candidates and pick the one that hasn't paid his or her federal income taxes.

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