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. Tman

    To Obama Victim

    This "LOSER" is the President of the United States. He does more in 1 day than you will do in your entire life. DEAL WITH IT! And yes I am a republican and I got just as angry when they disrespected Bush.

    May 1, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Kris Holtn=an

    Bet Raymond Burris won't bes asked.. He may wish he had stayed in Chicago till now.

    May 1, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Dan, TX

    I am confident Obama will choose a very reasonable replacement who will be pro-choice, but in the mainstream, and watch the republicans shoot themselves by calling the nominee all kinds of names that will cause centrists to be further alienated from the GOP.

    May 1, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. robert berkowitz from tioga st.

    Lets Get the Party of the "scared old white men" outta here!!! Now, this is America!

    May 1, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Adam Hoyle

    Ego? Doesnt believe in Constitutional Rules? Ummm....I thought Bush left months ago. Rememeber guys....we had an new, competent President was elected.....remember?

    Go Obama.

    May 1, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Peggy

    Phoenix, Obama is NOT Pro-Abortion! When are both sides of this issue going to understand that it's an argument that will never be resolved like this? Both sides are essentially right! Abortion is a tragedy, and women are sometimes in the position where they have to be able to choose to have them! That's what Obama says! We have to attend to the larger problems for which abortion is only a symptom!

    May 1, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. mark

    I am sure most of the negative comments are from people who voted for the other guy. such is life deal with it like the rest of the world had to dealw ith the last 8yrs...

    May 1, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Wow

    It is really pathetic that everything that this President does is hammered, abused, criticized and condemned. Of course he knew the magnitude of what has happened and he decided to respect the people and announce it himself. PRAY, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT???
    The true enemies of America are Americans

    May 1, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. A little sad

    Andi May 1st, 2009 4:20 pm ET

    Yeah, Jerry, I'm sure Obama is looking to abolish the Supreme Court… people are so angry and you really don't know what about. Give it a rest.


    May I venture a guess as to what they're angry about?

    Repubs were sucker-punched by the last administration, as Bush/Cheney failed in almost every area, and the few areas they did well were towards traditionally Democratic values.

    The party lost it's credibility, and they didn't even get a chance to lose it while fighting for core neo-conservtive "values".

    They put up a more centrist candidate then they wanted and he got his head handed to him (partially by his running mate.)

    They are lost children. And they forgot to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.

    May 1, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. 60's survivor

    yeah white presidents only!! ha I'm glad that tired old mold is broken. you whiners please get a life you are wearing me out and it's only been 100 days. not including the election drama from the far (soon to be passé ) right!!

    May 1, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Leah-Vancouver

    Obama Victim

    You might like to move to a different country, since you are so bitter living in USA and have Obama as a president.

    May 1, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Pearly

    I hope Obama appoints someone of Spanish descent.

    May 1, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. byron

    why not FINALLY appoint Posner to the court??

    May 1, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Throw out all incumbents

    HMMMM, Burris or Bill Clinton?

    May 1, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Pearly

    Haters die younger than people who love. This is only fair.

    May 1, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Leonard

    Amazing. Republicans fault Obama for doing *more* than is required of him. If he shows up for an extra press conference that he doesn't have to, they cry "ego, ego, ego." Obama promised transparency and communication, and he's keeping that promise; he's been talking directly to the American people more in his first 100 days than Bush did in any given year of his presidency.

    Republicans prized Reagan as "the Great Communicator" (which is one of the few honors lauded on Reagan that he actually did deserve), but when Obama does the same thing they find a way to gripe about THAT, too. You're straining your credibility with all these complaints about everything, Repubs. You better stop crying wolf and dial back the hysterics or people won't listen to you if something truly WORTH complaining about comes up.

    May 1, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    I saw Steele made a statement that he was withholding judgment on the replacement since "Obama ran as a moderate". They why do you keep calling his a socialist maxist?

    May 1, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. gary davis

    hey Rick
    Obama didn't push Gibbs aside or make an issue other than a positive remark . and then made his anouncment

    lets keep the ball in the middle as you report the news and not act like FOX NEWS

    May 1, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Maryann Rose


    Hee heee

    The Constitution IS a living, changing document!!

    Ever heard of 'Amendments'?


    May 1, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Manny BLUM, Bernalillo

    I am not sure where CNN gets the najority its bloggers from. Their moronic comments on this blog
    shows a very disturbing picture!!

    This said, OBAMA has now the opportunity to show his
    polical stature by:
    – (obviously) ignoring the howl of the ultraright, - but also of the DEM LEFTIST (blatantly misnomed as

    May 1, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Pam

    gslippy May 1st, 2009 4:23 pm ET

    Make no mistake: "the realities people go through" is code for interpreting the Constitution as a living, changing document, NOT as the unchangeable rock it should be.

    If it was a rock we would still own slaves and I wouldnt' have the right to vote or own land or do lots of things. You're stupid.

    May 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. bamaA

    Obama,looking for someone with integrity,Guess that leaves the Democrats out?

    May 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Heidi K.

    Are the negative commenters here the ones who in fact have no job at present and therefore have time to poison the comment pages with their negative dribble? Wake up guys, we have a fabulous, kind, INTELLIGENT and very real President and in stead of spreading unintelligent junk, do something positive and support your President. He is doing a fantastic job.

    Go Obama, Go! you are the Best and we love ya!

    May 1, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. fella from Chicago

    I'm a Conservative Republican who believes , "to the victor belongs the spoils". This is why I wanted a Republican to win the White House more than anything; to have the right to choose replacements for the next Supreme Court Jurists that open up over the next four years. We didn't win, so President Obama has the right to choose whomever he wants no matter how much it hurts. It's the political process.

    May 1, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Texan

    President Obama may be the first president in quite a while who actually understands constitutional law. And... we will also (finally after 8 years) have ABA input again.

    Oh... Mitch, Mitch Mitch – so afraid of diversity. So afraid of having a court move away form a fundamentalist right-wing conservative influence.

    May 1, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8