Free Markets, Free People

David Souter Will Retire From SCOTUS (updated)

Let the real scary part of the “all Democrats all the time” begin:

Factors in his decision no doubt include the election of President Obama, who would be more likely to appoint a successor attuned to the principles Souter has followed as a moderate-to-liberal member of the court’s more liberal bloc over the past two decades.

The problem, of course, is that Souter could be one of three appointments Obama might have the opportunity to make within his 4 years in the White House. Apparently neither Stevens or Ginsburg plan on retiring after this term, but Stevens is 89 for heaven sake and Ginsburg just got over a bout with cancer.

Rumor has it that Obama wants to appoint a woman (I guess “best qualified for the job” is just too much to ask):

Possible nominees who have been mentioned as being on a theoretical short list include Elena Kagan, the current solicitor general who represents the government before the Supreme Court; Sonia Sotomayor, a Hispanic judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; and Diane Wood, a federal judge in Chicago who taught at the University of Chicago at the same time future President Barack Obama was teaching constitutional law there.

Just looking at the list, Sotomayor would be the diversity daily double winner and don’t anyone think that won’t enter into the conversation when nominees are being discussed.

UPDATE: George Stephanopoulos thinks Sotomayor is a ‘heavy favorite’.

UPDATE II: MichaelW hopes if he chooses from that list that his choice is Kagan.  Here’s why.


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18 Responses to David Souter Will Retire From SCOTUS (updated)

  • Since the Left had no compunction to label Sam Alito or John Roberts as murderers, Hitler sympathizers, and war criminals who raped their own mothers and liked to eat children in between torturing puppies, we need to go out and make any nominee that The Clown™ names as someone who is liable to come into our homes, steal our parents or our children to sell into slavery, and who wants to make sure that the United Nations has police patrolling every street in the United States looking to take away peoples’ guns.
    I hate having to do this, but this is war, and this is the future of our country. Let’s make the fuggers sweat on this one. Fire away!

  • Dear Mr. McQuain: As dismaying as The One’s putting someone on the Court, it isn’t so bad as it seems. Souter, a liberal, will be replaced by a hard leftist. That won’t move the Court so much. Where the trouble would come is if one of the conservative quartet goes. I don’t think there’s much chance of Thomas, Roberts and Alito going, but Scalia is 73. Not ancient, but still….

    Sincerely yours,
    Gregory Koster

  • Kagan just wrote an opinion for the DoJ, seeking to overturn Jackson v. Washington (1986).  According to the UK Telegraph:

    The Michigan vs Jackson ruling in 1986 established that, if a defendants have a lawyer or have asked for one to be present, police may not interview them until the lawyer is present.

    However, in a current case that seeks to change the law, the US Justice Department argues that the existing rule is unnecessary and outdated.

    The Justice Department, in a brief signed by Elena Kagan, the solicitor general, said the 1986 decision “serves no real purpose” and offers only “meagre benefits”.

    I wonder what other rights Kagan thinks – and would rule – serve no real purpose and offer only meager benefits?  Miranda rights?  Counsel?  Speedy trial?  She’s got the whole Bill of Rights to play with, and we’ve learned just how little the Constitution means to trash.
    God help us.

  • There is never a “most qualified candidate.”  There are always a bunch of highly qualified candidates, and the choice — whether the President is Democratic or Republican — is always subjective and political. 

  • Agreed.  “most qualified” is an inherently subjective term.

    • I believe I said “best” qualified, and while that my have some level of subjectivity to it, the pool of “best qualified” would encompass everyone (including men) and concentrate on all of their qualifications (regardless or race or sex) first. Deciding a woman should be in that slot simply because of her sex is a travesty the excludes 50% of the possible candidates and completely ignores the best interests of the country (“best qualified” for the job by whatever measure) for the political goal of physical “diversity”.

      • I see your point, however, one could argue that any arbitrary things the president decides to pull out of the air are “qualifications” as the office is the least clearly defined of perhaps any constitutional office.  Technically, one doesn’t even need a background in law.  So, in a manner of speaking, the only real “qualifications” are, and always have been, political concerns.  Whether or not they should be is another matter.

        • The point isn’t necessarily what one considers to be the “best qualificiations” – it’s that whatever the criteria all candidates that hold meet them are considered. That’s obviously not the case here if the reports that Obama has limited his selection to women is true.

          • “That’s obviously not the case here if the reports that Obama has limited his selection to women is true.”

            Was it that he had actually limited the selection?  I took it to mean all of the candidates put forth as “front runners” were women.  I misunderstood.

  • If it turns out that Sotomayor is a lesbian with a disability here diversity powers will be  unbeatable and she will become the “Super Supreme!” 
    Seriously, I knew a SCOTUS retirement was coming, but I never predicted it would be Souter.   He’s 69…a young man by SCOTUS standards.

  • Would anyone be surprised if Obama nominated Hillary Clinton for the Supreme Court?

    I wouldn’t. She would satisfy so many of his constituencies at once that his base would firm up into the next presidential cycle. Some of the die-hard antiwar people might object, but most of those people have Moved-On.

    The next pick after this one will be a black American. So, the first pick has to fill other expectations. Hillary would also be elevated to the final pantheon, so to speak, where she could determine the legal fate of the world and every individual in it, as she has always dreamed of doing.

    Eric Holder could well be pick number two, or Deval Patrick, but No. 2 will be black.

    The next justice to retire will probably be Stevens, and it might be a room temperature retirement. Bader-Meinhoff isn’t lookin’ too good either.

    I’ve only recently become a Scalia fan, as he moves away from legal positivism toward natural law. Kennedy is, of course, what makes the Supreme Court a matter of whim and jitters, but he’s probably the microscope, or telescope, you would want to look through to understand why the Court’s jurisprudence is such a bloody mess, going way back before Kennedy, maybe to the beginning.

  • I know thw overall filibuster is out, but can they block at the committee level?

  • This development will cause “special” problems for Team Obama.

    Up till now, most of the electorate has been uncaring about what “The Won” has been up to as long as it seemed to be addressing the economy,  but this changes everything.

    While “The Won” has been busy talking softly, he has been able to look moderate.  Now the political “knives” come out and in the end “The Won” is bound to look much more partisan.  This journey is a “one way” adventure.

  • Check out this opinion, that Specter switching sides will prevent the committee from having an easy time ramroding a lefty into the SC.

  • looker,

    Well, it’s going to be a Lefty. It’s not going to be an openly gay radical critical legal theory Lefty activist who is openly anti-Israel and who voted for Dennis Kucinich and throws house parties for friends to watch 9/11 truther movies, but it will be close.

    This seat Souter is retiring him was the Brennan seat. I think that we’ll get someone considerably to the Left of Brennan and the Republicans will whoop it up and dance around the rim of the volcano for a couple of weeks and then whoever it is will be confirmed.

    Whoever this is won’t necessarily immediately change the outcome of cases, but it will be someone who introduces to the Court, via dissents and concurring opinions, a level of radical thinking never previously seen on the Court. It will be a clean plug-in to the Court’s already sick jurisprudence, and it will be bad.

    Again, I think that Hillary fits the role perfectly. I know, how often can righties suspect that Hillary is just around the corner. But I think that this is what she really wants, now. And for Obama, it takes her off the political board for 2012, when he might be having a rough time and there could be a challenger for the nomination, even as being named to the Court brings her supporters closer in, as she gets more. (The Clintons are big on more.)

  • David Souter, 69, picking this President to retire under. One more thing that can be blamed on a Bush.