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. jc

    Souter was part of the liberal bloc, so someone a little to the left would keep the court in balance. But....please don't nominate someone because of what they look like. The Supreme Court isn't a place to be creating quotas. Nominate someone because he is she is one of the brightest legal minds in the country.

    May 1, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Dee

    And Obama "surprising reporters" is news were surprised? Stop the presses!

    May 1, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Wow

    @ arithmetic is liberal

    I pity those that look up to you in any way if anyone does especially those that might one day call you Dad or Mom.

    May 1, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. AK

    Thank you Tman. You are a true Citizen of the US of A. Unlike many who disguise in the Republican party as patriots and are no and never have been patriotic!

    May 1, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Will Obama personally announce that we are bringing charges against the Bush Administration for their various crimes including torture and outing a CIA agent? (THAT'S TREASON)
    Will Obama personally announce that he is directing Eric Holder to bring a case against the Bush Administration for their various crimes?
    Will Obama personally announce that justice will be done in America?

    May 1, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. The Real Slim Shady

    Obama Victim: the only thing you are a victim of is your own ignorance. Obama won the Presidential election. The loser is the canidate who did not win and people such as yourself that chose to blames others for their own shortcomings and failures.

    May 1, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. gary davis

    oh and reading down I see a comment was made about Hillary Clinton

    WOW what a great job she is also doing .
    keep up the good work our country just might make it out of the last eight years of blunder and greed.

    May 1, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Cass

    To tje Obama haters. Ego, i don't think so, he's an intelligent, thoughtful and dynamic president. I know this is a difficult concept for you to wrap your small brains around, given the idiot we just got rid of, but at the end of the day you better LIVE WITH IT, because President Obama will be in the White House until 2016 (the end of his second term, in case you can't count).

    As far as his choice to replace Justice Sutter, it will be, like everything else he does, a brilliant, thoughtful and correct decision,

    Like I said haters, take a chill pill and L I V E W I T H I T,

    God Bless President Obama and his family.

    May 1, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. jm for sc

    People makes a mountain out of every little mole hill they can find.

    May 1, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    @ Jerry, who said "Maybe Obama plans to abolish the supreme court…he has a Congressional majority and none of them believe in Constitutional rules."

    Which ones did they break? Is this about your silly "soshulizm" tantrum? Aside from that show not fitting, nothing in the Constitution says we can't become socialist. Is it about the bailout/stimulus? Nothing in the Constitution prevents those things either...and case law clearly recognizes the gov't's authority to attach strings to money it gives out (so stop whining that CEO pay was limited, etc.). Stem cell research? Constitutional. Abortion? Constitutional. Gay marriage? Constitutional. Eliminating an entire branch of gov't? Not Constitutional. Really, where do you people come up with this crap?

    May 1, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. John, Chicago

    Wow the rednecks must have finished digging the new s#&t hole for their outhouse early. These white trash republicans just don't get it
    why someone who makes less than 20k per year would vote for the party for the rich is beyond me oh wait that's right they are stupid.

    @Paul from Phoenix you must be a transplanted redneck Obama did not hold a press conference he gave a short statement on the impending resignation of souter and offered what he would be looking for in a replacement at which point he turned it back over to Gibbs he took no questions from the press. Duh

    May 1, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    @ phoenix86

    Grow up. Nobody has claimed they want to expand Roe v. Wade, which clearly sets limitations on abortion. The only people who've claimed they want to change it are those who think the Constitution should be re-written to contain sections of the Bible.

    May 1, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |

    The President is Smart Reasonable Has Good Judgment He will Make the Right Choice!

    May 1, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. chris

    Governor Sarah Palin:

    We want to express our anger and frustration to the Obama Adm.
    Please don't be backed off the BIASED AND UNFAIR MAIN STREAM MEDIA. We the ordinary American people are no fool. We witnessed everything they did to you.

    Facts: I know most of Sarah Palin's negative news from the so called MAIN STREAM MEDIA.

    Facts: I got most of Obama and Biden's negative news from other sources like YOUTUBE. It tells all. We are no fool.

    May 1, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Paul - it's called multi-tasking. President Obama sailed past all of you last November, leaving your party spinning in limbo. Here we are 6 months later and you all are still grasping for air.

    May 1, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Christian

    "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"
    WHen people are hammering the president, they are absolutely right. Because right now, the media is enamored by his every move and mis-reporting or skipping over crucial facts to allow you to make better decisions and have a better informed decision.

    In politics, the people hold the keys. So if you see more people commenting negatively, it simply means they are starting to realize that things are going on they don't approve of. THANK GOD. I love it when the realization sets in.
    It gives me hope to see the comments on this board are not entirely from the hysteric and ill informed left. Keep it coming.

    May 1, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. geecee

    No doubt our President will make an excellent choice to replace Justice Souter. We have every confidence in his decision which will be well-thought out and exactly what the Supreme Court needs to keep it in balance.

    How can any dope, and that means you Victim, call our President a loser? Call him anything else, but a loser? He got 65 Million votes, he is the President of the greatest Country on earth, people like him alot, and he is even liked internationally. Victim, just get some mental health greatment before its too late! It's tough living with all that hate, isn't it?

    May 1, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Francisco Cardenas

    I hope Obama nominates a gay man or a lesbian.

    May 1, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. AK

    AT Will Brown, Obama Victim, jerry and the rest of all you SOB's. There is a place called Vercuz down south you all can go there and move in the swines, your relatives. Since you hate the President so much and hence this great nation, go somehere and get lost. Personally I hope its veracuz where you all get the H1N1 and never breath again!

    May 1, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Christian

    To Cass: Obama is not the 4th Jonas Brother. My goodness – can you say liberal media fueled infatuation. Get an informed opinion.

    May 1, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. the REAL arithmetic

    arithmetic is liberal May 1st, 2009 4:34 pm ET

    and now the One will appoint someone based on race or gender , not on qualifications.

    how racist can he get?

    Wow. You can't have put that opinion under your own name, so you use my handle to post it? How cowardly and pathetic could you possibly be?

    Shoot I musta really wrankled someone for them to steal my screen name. TCM, is that you?

    May 1, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. bajanfranny

    Get a life. You really are a liberal in disguide trying your darnest to make Republicans look bad. You are good at it. Your tone gives you away.:)

    @ Henry

    No Henry ,you got it wrong phoenix86 IS a republican, I have seen his previous posts and he is just like the other bitter repugs. I know he is making your party look bad but he is not the only one. The party of NO are the politicians in Washington that are also making your Party look bad. Please listen to Meghan Mccain and be more inclusive, then you wouldn't have people like phoenix86 making your party look bad.

    May 1, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Givemeabreak

    You people are right, Obama has accomplished a LOT in little time, just happens to go against everything that is moral and right-you guys live with that-you got a go-getter alright. And just because we do not believe in where Obama is taking us does not mean we loved everything Bush did-there is right and wrong, but you people can't pull your heads out to see the WRONG he is doing. Come up for air would ya??????

    May 1, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. toni

    Pres Obama these names you might want to consider,
    sean hannity, rush limbush, newt what's his name
    oh, jeremiah wright...

    May 1, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. vinny

    Obama must be paranoid. Can he take a vacation and stop being on tv and ruining the country?
    This president is awful. What a disappointment. Now he gets to pick a supreme court justice. Ironic...a president who wants to destroy the constitution picking someone who is supposed to uphold it!

    May 1, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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