Souter Retiring?

NBC is citing multiple sources saying David Souter will retire from the Supreme Court, following rumors that he wasn’t hiring clerks for the fall. Souter himself is not confirming.

(Update, 1 a.m.: Despite everyone running with the story, he’s still not confirming. No word yet whether TV crews are gathering on his lawn. But let’s give credit to Nina Totenberg for being first to click Send.)

Supreme Court Justice Souter To Retire [NPR]

Time to give Ruth some female company on SCOTUS.

Here’s what Lat (who closely follows SCOTUS clerk selection) wrote at Above the Law:

Two possibilities come to mind: (1) Justice Souter is retiring, at the end of this Term; or (2) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is retiring, and Justice Souter is keeping spots open for some of RBG’s hires (for OT 2009 and/or OT 2010). It’s a tradition at the Court for justices to take in the refugee clerks of their retired or deceased colleagues.

The entire blog post, which he partially lifted from other legal blogs is here:

Bring Sandra Day back. She would do it just to haunt Roberts until the end of her days.

If Barry really wanted make the RW wingnuts shriek and a certain justice squirm, he should name Anita Hill to the bench.

TJ/ I hope this Don Quixote tilts this windmill (the bond rating agencies) with his lawsuit. These guys should be taken down

If the Wall St fucks thought they’d get away with shit, they’re sorrily mistaken. Much like Barry’s cock punch to the Hedge Funds with the Chrysler Ch11.

@smapdi: What, what, is there some backstory between these two?

Isn’t Souter a friend of dorothy, even if he is probably celibate? Quotes I have seen from The Nine seem to indicate he is morally offended and horrified by the political corruption of the republican justices. I think this man may just really want to give this democratic president an appointment opportunity, the biggest FU he could give the republican justices.

Its being reported now as fact. Hmmm.

Today’s TDS has a lot of blog related stuff here.


Someone been reading Stinque?

@Promnight: Just from watching her in interviews, I think she thinks Roberts lied his way onto the court.
(…looking for examples)

(Face Palm) caused by Daily Show guest with no idea how one calculates odds.

Walter Wagner: odds 50/50 the CERN collider will destroy us all.

A bit early to put Hillary on the Supremes.

Maybe he’ll take Breyer with him. Did you see some of the dumbass things they were saying in the middle school strip search argument? Stupid fucks!

I vote for Kathleen Sullivan to fill a spot.

@ManchuCandidate: Don’t know enough about SCOTUS to make an informed opinion. Though I would rather Scalia or Roberts take an early retirement to “spend time with family”.

Rumor has it those cocks on the end of Barry’s punch may have the last laugh, since they probly took out credit default swaps on their own distressed debt hedge bets. The Wall Street Fucks (good band name, yes?) usually manage to get the last laugh.

(Anyone following Dick Durbin’s naked admission that the bankers own Congress?)

Certainly if they have a relationship with Goldman “Sacks-the-Treasury”.

@smapdi: Isn’t Sandy Day the one who gave us the Eight Long Years? Thanks, No.

It’s no secret that Souter hates his job. He hates DC and hates being torn from his New England roots. If he goes, I hope BO nominates Lawrence Tribe, his teacher. A brilliant mind who would make a stellar Justice.

That’s true. But don’t you guys own 80% of AIG? I’d think it would be a pretty big stick to whack them with.

@ManchuCandidate: As I understand it, our ownership of AIG means we have the privilege of paying the Wall Street Fucks for their losses. Heads they win, tails we lose.

@Benedick: She’s obnoxious on the teevee, but from what I hear she’s really a great gal and kind of a libtard to boot. I second the nomination. Couldn’t be worse than the asswipes appointed and confirmed under the previous administration.

@JNOV: Kathleen or Pam would be awesome, though it’d be fun if it were Kathleen and Pam continued to argue the cases through the clinic.

But seriously. Here are my darkhorses. It’s gotta be a woman. Ruth is sad and lonely and needs someone to help her clobber Scalia behind closed doors:
Judge Sonia Sontemeyer (first Latina SC justice);
N.D. Cal. Judge Phyllis Hamilton (first Af-Am female SC justice – and ex public defender) or C.D.Cal. Judge Audrey Collins (same except ex DA and law school classmate of DodgerBlue)
Harold Koh from Yale (yes he is a man, but would be first Asian SC justice);
Elena Kagan from Harvard (just named Solicitor General);
Pam Karlan or Kathleen Sullivan from Stanford (there’s also a wonderful professor at Stanford who is a soft spoken mild man from New Hampshire with a sharp mind who some of us in class would call “Souter” as a compliment);
10th Circuit Chief Judge Stephanie Seymour,
and my wild card picks: Sandra Day O’Connor or Michelle Obama. [that would make the crazees on Faux News’ heads explode!]

Note: There are no Native American females on the federal bench anywhere in the U.S.

@SanFranLefty: You would seriously approve of Sandra Day O’Connor resuming her throne on the SCOTUS? After Bush v. Gore? What am I missing?

I’m all for another woman on the Court, I’m sure you know better than I which ones are qualified and desirable, and there must be dozens or hundreds, but srsly, Sandra?

@Pedonator: Yeah, but I’d do it as a big fuck you to Roberts, and to whack Kennedy about the head. She’ll retire again or die soon enough but it’s pretty clear that she seriously regrets stepping down.

Yes Bush v. Gore was an abomination of a decision. But there were the other 28 years of reasoned decisionmaking she did. A lifetime of being a reasoned voice can’t be completely ignored due to one terrible decision. Maybe it’s the 1st grade Catholic school but I believe in rehabilitation….and that you can’t judge a man solely by his worse act, or a justice solely by her worse vote.

Actually, what I think Unicorn will do with Sandy is put her in charge of the independent commission investigating the use of torture by U.S. agents in Iraq and Gitmo (and wherever else).

I support SFL for Souter’s seat. Experienced, good credentials, tall. What say you, Stinquers?

@ManchuCandidate: Like minds. The R2D2 reference was there for the taking.

@Dodgerblue: Well that would be sweet ironic justice since I wasn’t able to get a clerkship after law school. And you forgot to add that I’m young so I’ll outlive those right wing fuckers. “More Krispy Kremes, Clarence and Sam?”

@SanFranLefty: OK, I don’t have the legal perspective on Sandy’s entire career that you do. I’d still be deeply ambivalent about putting her in charge of a the (I hope) torture investigation commission. Still, after a quick google of her career, I’m good with having her sit at the table.

Much rather supergoddess Helen Thomas be the chair. Or Jonathan Turley. Or Rachel Maddow, for that madder.

@Dodgerblue: Though we respectfully disagree at times, I would be proud to second the nomination of SFL for Souter’s seat. That’s what bi-partisanship is all about. Maybe we can get one of those internet petitions going?

(SFL, you know I’m being devious, I would definitely support you, even canvass for you if that were appropriate!)

@Pedonator: And look what a great job Earl Warren did with JFK!

@SanFranLefty: But there’s the problem: If she punted on Bush v. Gore, how can we respect her leadership on Bush-approved torture? It’s not that she’s beholden to Shrub — it’s that on decisions of such consequence, there’s a legitimate reason not to trust her judgment.

She ruled against Bush on a lot of the detainee cases. And if Unicorn puts her in charge, it shuts up the “this is partisan effort” meme.

I don’t know – I kinda feel sorry for the woman – riding the circuit popping up in appellate court rooms, her husband stabilizing physically but deteriorating mentally, seems like she needs something to do. Barry could use a hand on some of the stuff going on, and she’s sensible in that raised on a ranch sort of way, and could kick ass and take names. Hell, put her in charge of the auto industry

@SanFranLefty: Fair enough on the detainees.

But the “partisan” meme hints at the broader problem: How in hell can any Establishment panel be expected to get at the truth? They always vote in favor of Peggy’s Mysteries when it comes to a head.

@nojo: Um, kind of like the first-rate job the Kean/Hamilton/Zelikow commission did for 9/11!

I just can’t get excited much about JFK because a) he was killed a few years before I was born and b) he wasn’t such a Great and True Defender of Freedom and Justice after all and c) I have my own personal grassy knoll in the extravagantly obfuscatory job the Official Narrative has told us about what happened on September 11, 2001.

@Pedonator: I was going to say, if had time to drop in on the JFK discussion today, that 9/11 is the new Enduring Conspiracy Theory for Our Times.

Besides, Gore Vidal on Pearl Harbor is much more entertaining.

@SanFranLefty: Maybe she could kick ass in the auto industry, maybe that’s the exactly appropriate place for her. Nojo makes a good point about questioning her judgment.

I’m glad she’s one of the few Republicans to, um, gently suggest that perhaps detaining people indefinitely without recourse to the courts could be, uh, perhaps, slightly unconstitutional. But to put her in charge of an investigation into the crimes the people she pole-vaulted into power would be a…mistake.

@nojo: Just because the mystery is unsolved doesn’t mean there isn’t a conspiracy.

@Pedonator: One of my earliest memories — I think — is trying to watch cartoons, and instead seeing Ruby shoot Oswald, or at least the scene if not the precise moment. (It happened on a Sunday, but the time is right — 9:21 a.m Pacific.)

But I don’t really start tuning into the world until spring 1968, just in time for Bobby and MLK (and Nixon). As a practical matter, JFK’s assassination means nothing to me. Vietnam loomed over my youth, not Jack. And while I may demographically be a late boomer, the 70s are my decade, not the 60s.

As for 9/11, I’m satisfied to think it was a conspiracy of al Qaeda terrorists predominantly from Saudi Arabia, aided by some curious building standards that were in the process of being rectified, and abetted by an Administration that was arrogantly ignorant of what was happening in the world.

If you want to bring in some more players behind the scenes, you’re welcome to it. The conventional wisdom is damning enough for me.

Chicago whispers are about Diane Wood (7th Cir.) and Cass Sunstein (F.O.O.).

Wood nom would open up a seat here — and if there’s one place in America that really needs a dirty hippie, it is the Seventh Circuit. Easterbrook and Posner run that show; we need a counterbalance badly.


I nominate Magic Johnson to return to the court.

Thank you.

Nabisco: No. Larry Bird, who would take special satisfaction ruling on eleventh-hour habeas petitions. Always denying them, of course.

T. Heinsohn: “One way or the other, Bird kills you!”

@SanFranLefty: Due to illness/death and ethical/competence issues, we no longer have any Indian women on the state bench here in New Mexico. No dudes, either. One guy I tried to recruit for a district court position refused to be considered. Of the two top Indian woman lawyers I know, one is headed to the Interior Solicitor’s job, and another is deputy general counsel to Bill Richardson.

Our chief federal judge, Martha Vasquez, is latina, x-PD, Clinton appointee and a stone liberal. Her husband, however, is a shady small town pol and her sister is an amoral lawyer for developers. No appellate exp. Really, really nice and very attractive in person.

ADD: @chicago bureau: So I’m hiking in the rain along a river in the mountains back home on the rez and who do I see on horseback wearing a yellow slicker with two guides but Larry Bird?

My tribe at that time was engaged in efforts to have congress correct a boundary with the Forest Service, Bird was brought in to see the area, maybe hunt and fish up there, because he was tight with some members and could help swing some votes. Whether or not his visit helped, I don’t know but we got the bill passed. I did happen upon some beautiful native cutthroat trout up the trail a bit that day.

Speaking of latinas, another whisper name is Sonia Sotomayor out of Circuit No. 2 and, more importantly, the Bronx. Which means of course that one would not want to mess with her if one were smart.

Not to be all interest-group politics guy or anything, but nominating a Puerto Rican to the Court might not be the worst move Barry could ever make.

(I know jack about these candidates, really — how they act on the bench, judicial temperment. But ability to smack that reactionary blowhard / thug the Honorable Justice Scalia in the mouth (intellectually of course) would be a definite plus.

@smapdi: Roberts engaged in child-trafficking shennanigans to get those Irish children out of Ireland illegally, thats for sure.

Hey, here’s something interesting; JNOV, look at this: Friday, May 01, 2009
Mormons played key role in Bush torture policy
by John Aravosis (DC) on 5/01/2009 10:00:00 AM
From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Although the decisions which put us in the grim business of torture, body-snatching, extraordinary renditions, making people disappear, indefinite confinement without charges and warrantless wiretapping were made by the president and vice president, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints served as helpful enablers. Not only did they provide the legal architecture, they provided the “scientific” patina for the plunge into the barbaric business of torture.

@Prommie: Hey, is this the same outfit that funded the Hate on Gays, Yes on 8 campaign in California?

Erwin Chemerinsky would be a hoot.

Dave Foley could use a new gig.

Christ, I now realize it’s possible to misspell “ain’t”! Two ways, too!

@SanFranLefty: YES! Michelle Obama
to the Supreme Court!

@Prommie: Yeah. The exmos have been going nuts over it. They’re a pretty diverse group. I mean REALLY diverse. There are atheist-deist flame wars, pro-gay-anti-gay flame wars, conservative-liberal flame wars, and if the stuff goes off topic, they yank the thread. The Mormon shrinks and lawyer have people arguing all over the place, and then it get’s too political, and the thread gets pulled. Even though they’re exmos, they all haven’t left the church. Some keep up appearances to keep their spouses from leaving them, and the LDS church spends an inordinate amount of time trying to reactivate them unless they resign. The resignation process is a nightmare. Ugh. Most of them still live in The Morridor (UT, ID, NV, AZ), and leaving the church means shunning and possibly losing their livelihoods. And since they still live in the Morridor, some still hold conservative and even racist views. It’s the thinly-veiled racism that drives me away sometimes. I get tired of fighting the bigots. But the Mormons turned fundie are horrible to the gay exmos. Sheesh.

@lynnlightfoot: Not as wacky as you might think. Remember, JFK appointed RFK as Atty General.

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