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Souter Retirement and the Senate

May 1, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

court_souza_03

In a surprise move, Associate Supreme Court Justice David Souter may announce today he will seek retirement following the current court session. President would then make his first appointment to the court just six months into his first term. It will also bring a possible confirmation fight to Congress as early as June or July. With that fight, much of the president’s agenda for Congress could be put on hold. Another wrinkle is fallout from Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection to the Democratic Party. Some have already suggested Republicans on the Judiciary Committee block nominations there, since Specter is no longer the ranking member on the committee.

Souter — who was appointed to the court by George H.W. Bush in 1990 — has been a reliably liberal vote on the court. Should Obama try to appoint another liberal vocie the court, he might have a fight in the Judiciary Committee even bef0re a full Senate vote.

Image (used under a Creative Commons license) by Peter Souza.

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