On May 1st, Supreme Court Justice Souter officially announced his intention to resign at the end of the court’s term in June. Souter will be remembered for how often he aligned with more liberal justices in recent years, especially on issues of executive power, capital punishment, and race.
In October 2008, during his campaign for the Presidency, Obama hinted to the press that he would look for justices in the model of Souter and Beyer, calling them very sensible judges. “That, I think is the kind of justice that I’m looking for -somebody who respects the law, doesn’t think that they should be making law-but also has a sense of what’s happening in the real world and recognizes that one of the roles of the courts is to protect those who don’t have a voice, “ he added.
Later, the Obama administration reiterated this view, with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs telling reporters that the President was looking for someone with “diversity in their background and experience.” Senator Arlen Specter [D-PA], potentially a pivotal vote on Obamka’s nominee, has also said that the high court “could use some diversity along a number of lines,” a point reiterated by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy [D-VT] and Senator Orrin Hatch [R-UT].
Source: The Progress Report, May 4, 2009