May 1st, 2009
06:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama personally announces Souter's retirement

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Justice David Souter announced Friday he will retire from the Supreme Court, after informing the White House of his plans.

Souter, in a brief letter to the president, said "When the Supreme Court rises for the summer recess this year, I intend to retire from active service as a justice." The current term is expected to end in late June.

President Barack Obama - breaking into the daily White House news briefing - thanked Souter for his service and said he will choose as his replacement someone who understands "the realities" people go through every day, and someone who understands "the rule of law."

The president said he also will seek someone with a "sharp, independent mind" who has integrity and strives for excellence.

He described Souter as "not only a good judge, but a good person," adding, "I'm incredibly grateful for his good service."

"I wish him safe travels on his journey home and on the road ahead," the president said.

Filed under: David Souter • Popular Posts • President Obama • Supreme Court
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. SueB

    Souter's been waiting 8 long years for a Dem prez so he could get the heck out of DC and back to the country life he loves. Souter was far left but his arguments were for the most part definitely intelligent and well reasoned, even if I disagreed with many of them. I think his only major faux pas was his opinion supporting eminent domain, which allowed government to take property for private use. When he then fought, and of course won, to keep his own property from being taken for private use, I thought he was hypocritical. Not in my backyard syndrome, which doesn't fit a SCJ well.

    May 1, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. Obama Administration -- Day 102

    I wish the best to Jusitce Souter and hope he has a happy retirement. I wish the best to President Obama and the Senate Judiciary Committee as well in appointing a new Supreme Court Justice who will defend constitutional rights and stop those who attempt to abuse them. I wish the wrost, however, th the commenters here who have nothing better to do than flame each other over their opinions on Obama.

    However, I must say I'm surprised that it's Souter who's retiring. I figured that it'd be Ginsburg.

    May 1, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  3. janelle

    @ jude,

    what you're really saying is get rid of anyone who doesn't agree with you and who isn't a smug arrogant person who likes to think of themselves as intellectuals, but can't espouse anything but an attack that begins and ends with "the previous administration". You can't come up with any sound, thoughtful reasons for policy, so it's just, oh yeah, well Bush did this, Bush did that nanny, nanny, boo, boo!

    May 1, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. Mike

    If the President nominates a conservative Republican, the pary of NO will still vote no.

    Its hard to believe our tax money is paying the salary of do nothing, always say NO Republican's salary!

    May 1, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. Brian

    "Maybe Obama plans to abolish the supreme court"

    Jerry, you seem to forget that your hero GW, ruled by executive decree and skirted not only the supreme court, but congress as well. The constitution was treated as a nice thing to have as long as it didn't get in the way. Don't forget just how many civil liberties were taken away during his reign and poorly he and his cronies treated the american people.

    May 1, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. Harvey for Obama

    Love to see Obama on TV. Payback for 8 years of enduring Shurb Bush.

    May 1, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. David in West Virginia

    Supreme Court Justice David Souter has served this country with integrity. I hope President Obama makes as good a choice in his selection for the next Supreme Court Justice who understands the Constitution and the Law to guide this country in the future. Best wishes to Justice Souter.

    May 1, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. Ken

    Maybe we can get someone that will enforce our immigration laws.

    May 1, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. robert

    Have to laugh at Willy Brown sneering at the President's "Ego." Seriously, after eight years of Bush's arrogance!?! Strain at a gnat, swallow a whale.

    May 1, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  10. Clifford in New York

    Celobrity May 1st, 2009 5:26 pm ET

    Obama is doing an excellent job, and I am sure he will approach the appointment carefully and with a great deal of integrity. Thank you, Mr. President fo rall that you are in doing to help our country.


    He hasn't accomplished nor has he fixed anything! What has he ACTUALLY fixed??

    May 1, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. Jill

    My belief is Obama will make the right choice not influcenced by anyone. He has gifted intelliegence... don't make him play the policical game. Obmana Victim... why are you a victim?

    May 1, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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