Thursday, April 30, 2009

Souter Leaves The Court

Innocently enough, the Supreme Court press corps simply put two and two together. Justice David Souter was the only jurist not to have hired law clerks for the court's next session. The Associated Press story speculating on its meaning seemed harmless enough. Souter has been known to the last to select from the nation's top law grads and is notoriously an odd duck in D.C. circles. Harmless, right? Apparently not.

It is the culture of the Supreme Court to operate within riddles--a bit of intellectual playfulness, yet this one was too simple to crack. The 69-year-old thumb in the eye to conservatives across the country will be President Obama's first attempt at molding the court.

It is true the judge President George H.W. Bush appointed to the court only to later realize he was something of a closet lefty will not change the make up of the Supreme Court other than restart the clock on another liberal member. It will show just how much the president's popularity will translate in an always testy confirmation process.

In the last three days, conservatives have clearly witnessed the destruction due to eight years of George W. Bush. Long-time Republican Arlen Specter left the party citing the difficulty of moderates to win under the GOP brand and now the power of Obama's victory last November has grown lasting fruit--a fresh choice on the court.

Who will be the next Supreme Court justice. Let the rumor mill gain full should begin with Sonia Sotomayor.

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