David Souter apparently is retiring. I keep resisting writing the “Evil David Souter.” The supposedly responsible conservative appointed by the supposedly responsible conservative president who turned out to be a reliable member of the left-wing block. Souter’s ideological predilections were on display last year, when about the only serious conservative argument to be made for John McCain was the Supreme Court. Reports the Washington Post:
A friend who ran into him last summer in Concord said he was surprised by just how strongly Souter spoke about wanting to leave Washington. “He said, ‘If Obama wins, I’ll be the first one to retire,’ ” said the friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Souter had not yet announced a retirement.
The early word is that the Obama administration wants to choose a woman. And Vice President Joseph Biden, when he’s not directing the nation’s transportation system, will be in charge of coming up with a list of candidates. The Post gives a few names being tossed about:
Although Obama’s choice would probably be far different from the 69-year-old intellectual bachelor from New Hampshire, the replacement would almost surely have a similar ideological outlook. Most court observers also believe Obama would be likely to choose a woman as his first appointment, since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the lone female among the nine justices.
Most often mentioned as possibilities are two appeals judges, Sonia Sotomayor of New York and Diane P. Wood of Chicago, along with Obama’s new solicitor general, Elena Kagan. Vice President Biden has been charged with drawing up a list of possible nominees, according to the source close to the court.
White House advisers have been drafting lists of potential replacements virtually since Obama took office, and the list is said to also include Stanford University law professor Kathleen M. Sullivan, Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm and Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears.
A liberal nomination is inevitable. About all conservatives can do is push hard against any truly radical nominee.
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