BIG NEWS: Supreme Court Justice Souter Intends to Retire.

  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    May 01, 2009 2:21 AM GMT
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30508968/


    Supreme Court Justice David Souter plans to retire, sources told NBC News Thursday night.

    Speculation about Souter's plans began to swirl as the eight other justices were known to have hired the four law clerks who will work with them in the Supreme Court term that begins in October. Souter has been the lone holdout, hiring no one.

    A retirement by Souter, 69, would give President Barack Obama his first chance to nominate a justice and the next few months would bring Senate confirmation hearings.

    It’s unclear whether Souter would retire at the end of the current term or as soon as a nomination can be made, NBC News correspondent Pete Williams reported.

    For the last three years, at least, the identities of Souter's clerks for the upcoming term have been known by now. Gossipy legal blogs actively seek out the names of the clerks — recent graduates of the nation's top law schools who go on to lucrative careers and, sometimes, the Supreme Court.

    Clerkships are highly sought and applicants have been known to interview with multiple justices in the hopes of landing a job at the high court. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer and John Paul Stevens were clerks when they were younger.

    Clerks typically start work in July and spend the summer poring over appeals to decide which ones they think the court should hear. Justice Clarence Thomas recently said of new clerks that "the way that we work, there is no start up time. You hit the ground running and you're ready to go."

    The other candidates for retirement are Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 76, and Stevens, 89, although neither has betrayed any intention of leaving. Ginsburg, who is undergoing chemotherapy following surgery for pancreatic cancer in February, said she wants to serve into her 80s.

    In 1990, Republican President George Bush nominated Souter for the position of Supreme Court justice. Little was known of his positions on issues at the forefront of the news, such as abortion, and it was hoped by conservatives that his literal interpretations of the Constitution would work in their favor. However, Souter's interpretations of the Constitution were more liberal than the Republican Party had hoped.

    Souter attended Harvard University, graduating Phi Betta Kappa in 1961 with a major in philosophy. Before returning to Harvard to attend law school, Souter won a Rhodes Scholarship to Magdalen College at Oxford.

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    May 01, 2009 3:15 AM GMT
    This has been talked about for a few weeks actually. seeing as pancreatic cancer is normally fatal, I would doubt that ginsberg will live into her 80's but hopefully she will beat the odds and survive. Hopefully Obama will nominate a woman to the high court since sadly Bush did not nominate a woman at the retirement of Justice O'Connor.

    UPDATE
    http://abovethelaw.com/2009/04/breaking_justice_souter_retiri.php

    Souter will remain on the bench till a replacement is found but he is retiring at the end of the term.

    For fun I am including a picture that is a spoof of the current terms supreme court picture.Supeep%20Court%20Peeps%20contest%20Frank

    As you can see Justice Ginsberg is shown by the chick peep because well she is a chick and Justice thomas is the Pink peep because he is a different color
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    May 01, 2009 9:13 AM GMT
    chungo44 saidThis has been talked about for a few weeks actually. seeing as pancreatic cancer is normally fatal, I would doubt that ginsberg will live into her 80's but hopefully she will beat the odds and survive. Hopefully Obama will nominate a woman to the high court since sadly Bush did not nominate a woman at the retirement of Justice O'Connor.

    UPDATE
    http://abovethelaw.com/2009/04/breaking_justice_souter_retiri.php

    Souter will remain on the bench till a replacement is found but he is retiring at the end of the term.

    For fun I am including a picture that is a spoof of the current terms supreme court picture.Supeep%20Court%20Peeps%20contest%20Frank

    As you can see Justice Ginsberg is shown by the chick peep because well she is a chick and Justice thomas is the Pink peep because he is a different color


    I thought the pink peep was Judge Roberts!! icon_wink.gif
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    May 01, 2009 9:53 AM GMT
    I hope our politicos are making a list for President Obama??? A list of GLBT judges and/or GLBT friendly judges.... We NEED them..... Isn't it time for a cool, middle aged, lesbian to sit on the highest court????

    I included an article on the importance of having judges with an ear for our challenges....

    _________________________________________________________


    Vol. VIII Issue 167 Friday, May 01, 2009

    Why a President's Pick of U.S. Judges Spells Life or Death

    By Cheryl Jacques,
    President, Human Rights Campaign and
    Kevin Cathcart,
    Executive Director, Lambda Legal


    "A State cannot so deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws. Amendment 2 violates the Equal Protection Clause, and the judgment of the Supreme Court of Colorado is affirmed."
    - Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority in Romer v. Evans, which invalidated a discriminatory Colorado law.

    "What can explain the Court majority's decision? Only the newly faddish approval of homosexual conduct among the elite classes from which the Justices come and to which most of them respond."
    - Judge Robert Bork on Romer vs. Evans


    Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was ultimately confirmed, would later affirm the equality of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in the landmark cases of Romer v. Evans, which declared that Colorado could not disadvantage gay people in its political system, and Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down state sodomy laws.


    Robert Bork, President Reagan's first pick for this position on the Supreme Court who was denied confirmation in the Senate, probably would have come to very different conclusions. An outspoken opponent of GLBT rights, Bork was critical of the Romer and Lawrence decisions.

    As leaders of two of the nation's most significant GLBT advocacy groups, we know that the selection of judges has a profound effect on our community.

    But too many people in the GLBT community don't know that when we vote for candidates, we're also helping to shape the judiciary for years to come. In other words, when we choose to stay at home on Election Day, we're choosing to let someone else put together a branch of our government that will directly affect our lives.

    Our votes for president and senators directly affect the composition of the courts, which in turn can make the difference between equal justice under law, as exemplified by Lawrence, and being branded as criminals, the shameful legacy of Bowers v. Hardwick that Lawrence put to rest.

    Since Lambda Legal's heroic victory in Lawrence, we've seen unprecedented attacks on the courts by antigay forces. They are advocating for the appointment of extremists who will not recognize, as Justice Kennedy did, our basic rights as citizens.

    They are pushing the unprecedented and unconstitutional "Marriage Protection Act," which would close the courts to our community by preventing federal court challenges to the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act."

    They are even attacking the judges themselves. On September 8, anti-gay forces in California requested the recall of Judge Loren McMaster, who upheld California's domestic partnership law over the objections of the extremists who sued to have it invalidated.

    This last effort - in which the anti-gay forces were actually asking a judge to strike down popular legislation - exposes the truth about complaints that judges are "activists." It's simply an effort to diminish judges who put the Constitution ahead of anti-gay ideology.

    Case in point: The same people who label Justice Kennedy as "activist" hurled no such accusations at an Alabama judge who defied a federal court order to comply with the First Amendment and remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from public property. Opponents of equality want judges to promote an agenda - their agenda.

    Already, we're seeing evidence that judges nominated in service of a right-wing agenda will deliver the goods when they get the opportunity. On July 21, 2004, a federal court of appeals upheld Florida's discriminatory adoption ban by a one-vote margin. Who sat on that bench? Judge William Pryor.

    Pryor has an abysmal record on GLBT issues and recently received a temporary judicial appointment in a move that circumvented congressional approval. His temporary appointment expires at the end of this year. It is in the interest of our community to insure that Pryor, and judges like him, do not receive lifetime appointments to the bench.

    When it comes to the Supreme Court, the stakes couldn't be higher. Four of the justices are older than 70. With many cases decided by the narrowest of margins, who appoints the next Supreme Court justice will change life for GLBT Americans - for good or for bad.

    That's why the Human Rights Campaign Foundation recently released Justice for All, a publication explaining the role every vote plays in shaping the judiciary in years to come ( www.hrc.org/justiceforall ). It's why Lambda Legal educates about the effect one judge can have on millions of lives, while exposing the truth behind rhetoric about so-called "activist judges" ( www.lambdalegal.org/judgingdiscrimination ).

    In the end, though, it's not up to us. It's up to you. Your vote can make the difference between giving a lifelong job to someone who spouts the rhetoric of Bork or someone as fair and impartial as Kennedy. It's your vote. You be the judge.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    © 1997-2009 BEI
    The sexual orientation of individuals pictured in and writers for
    Gay Today should not be assumed.


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    May 01, 2009 12:43 PM GMT
    he couldn't have retired LAST year? poop sandwich....


    LGBT friendly judges? Seriously?

    Judges are supposed to judge the law, not re-write and legislate from the bench. Something liberal judges can't seem to understand...
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 01, 2009 12:52 PM GMT
    I do find it intriguing that he chose to retire now.... but now that a democratic President is in place, I would expect Ruth Ginsberg and John Paul Stevens to retire before Obama leaves office.

    I've always found David Souter to be intriguing, partially because of how he grew up, but he approach.. the "wild card" of the Supreme Court.
    He will certainly be missed.
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    May 01, 2009 2:45 PM GMT
    RSportsguy said
    chungo44 said

    For fun I am including a picture that is a spoof of the current terms supreme court picture.Supeep%20Court%20Peeps%20contest%20Frank

    As you can see Justice Ginsberg is shown by the chick peep because well she is a chick and Justice thomas is the Pink peep because he is a different color


    I thought the pink peep was Judge Roberts!! icon_wink.gif


    silly judge roberts is in the middle of the front row because he is the chief justice and as such the most senior.
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    May 01, 2009 2:52 PM GMT
    AF24 saidhe couldn't have retired LAST year? poop sandwich....


    LGBT friendly judges? Seriously?

    Judges are supposed to judge the law, not re-write and legislate from the bench. Something liberal judges can't seem to understand...


    Actually you are wrong, Period. Judges job is to interpret the law which means the judges are the one who write the law. that is the way it has always been. the legislature gets to write the laws but the judiciary get to tell us what those laws mean, that is their job. It is part of the systems of checks and balances. The term activist judge is a misnomer. and the Article posted by Bryan points out just how much of a hypocrite people who call judges activists are. they are only activist judges when they decide for the other side.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 01, 2009 3:11 PM GMT
    AF24 saidhe couldn't have retired LAST year? poop sandwich....


    LGBT friendly judges? Seriously?

    Judges are supposed to judge the law, not re-write and legislate from the bench. Something liberal judges can't seem to understand...

    It's one of those ironies of history that it was the arch-conservative judge John Marshall who established the prinicple of Judicial Review by the courts.

    And now even Antonin Scalia upholds that function of the courts.

    May I suggest:

    activist.jpg
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    May 01, 2009 3:12 PM GMT
    I wonder if Souter will come out of the closet after he retires.
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    May 01, 2009 3:18 PM GMT
    I spend a good part of my day making nerdy little jokes about the members of congress. It is good to see SCOTUS nerds playing with peeps and other SCOTUS nerds laughing in that tell-tale nerdy way.

    Obama is still wildly popular. The GOP is wildly not. With defeats in Franken and Tedesco, Specter jumping ship, and the head of the NRSC John Cornyn lamenting that the GOP is not a "national party" anymore, Obama could nominate Liberal McActivistJudge without a problem. The only person he couldn't get confirmed is Harriet Miers.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    May 01, 2009 4:19 PM GMT
    Here are some of the people being talked about in Washington right now as being replacements for Souter

    One possibility is the current U.S. Solicitor General, Elena Kagan. She's a former law professor at Obama's alma mater, Harvard University.

    Another well-known name who might make the list is Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

    Most of the rest of the likely possibilities are sitting federal judges. Among them are Ruben Castillo of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Margaret McKeown of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and Diane Wood of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

    Law professors Pam Karlan of Stanford and Cass Sunstein of Harvard might also make the list.
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    May 01, 2009 4:56 PM GMT
    Definitely not a surprise. Souter has craved to retire back to his cabin in NH and all his books. His opinions have reflected some degree of disillusionment by the court since Alito was appointed and the conservatives' apparent disdain for stare decisis. Neither conservative, nor liberal, he truly represented a third block on the court (very akin to O'Connor) that law was meant to enhance the stability of society through settled precedent. Most importantly he stood against the strict constructionist arguments of Scalia, Thomas, Alito...and to a lesser extent Roberts). It is comforting to have an intelligent constitutional law scholar as president who will give great thought to the impact of a new appointment outside of pure political gain.
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    May 01, 2009 7:05 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    AF24 saidhe couldn't have retired LAST year? poop sandwich...

    Actually, in one statement I read, he said something to the effect of "since Obama was elected, he felt it was a good time to retire", suggesting that he---a Republican appointee, was deliberately holding off so that his successor would be named by a Democrat.

    You have to give the man credit for patriotism.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I believe the following list of potential picks for the position would be most appropriate:

    Judge Rivers Kistler, Oregon Supreme Court;
    Justice Rosalyn Richter, New York Supreme Court;
    Judge Thomas Chiola, Cook County Circuit Court;
    Michael Sonberg, New York Trial Judge;
    Deborah Batts, Trial Court New York;
    Eleanor Acheson, former Assistant Attorney General;
    Paul Smith, Partner Washington Office of Jenner and Block;
    Christopher Panos, Baltimor Trial Court Judge;

    and other qualified judges with GLBT experience.

    It would seem that now is the time to push for such a Justice.....

    Peace,
    Bryan1960
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    May 01, 2009 7:09 PM GMT
    I like the prospects of a Latina: Sonia Sotomayor, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Especially considering that the Hispanic demographic is soon to become the largest minority demographic.