Reports: Supreme Court Justice David Souter to Retire at End of Term

Posted April 30, 2009 at 10:12pm

Updated: 11:30 p.m.Supreme Court Justice David Souter has told the White House he plans to retire at the end of the current term, National Public Radio and NBC are reporting. Souter, 69, is a relatively young justice and a reliably liberal vote. Souter, who is from New Hampshire, was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the bench in 1990.Souter’s retirement would give President Barack Obama his first chance to shape the nine-member court. Seven of its members were appointed by Republican presidents, including Chief Justice John Roberts, who was nominated by George W. Bush. There has been speculation among Supreme Court watchers that Souter would step down this year, but neither he nor anyone else associated with the court has ever confirmed that.The court has had no comment so far tonight on the reported news of Souter’s resignation.The biggest clue has been that Souter, unlike his colleagues, has not yet hired the four law clerks who will work with him in the new term, which begins on Oct. 5.It’s also been known that the justice has not enjoyed Washington, preferring to return to his home in rural New Hampshire as frequently as he can.