It appears that President Obama will be appointing at least one Supreme Court Justice if this report from NPR proves correct…
NPR has learned that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire at the end of the court’s current term.
The court has completed hearing oral arguments for the year and will be issuing rulings and opinions until the end of June.
Souter is expected to remain on the bench until a successor has been chosen and confirmed, which may or may not be accomplished before the court reconvenes in October.
At 69, Souter is nowhere near the oldest member of the court, but he has made clear to friends for some time now that he wanted to leave Washington, a city he has never liked, and to return to his native New Hampshire.
Now, according to reliable sources he has decided to take the plunge and has informed the White House of his decision.
Justice Souter’s retirement would not change the ideological makeup of the court, since he generally votes with the more liberal members even though he was appointed by George H. W. Bush.
Just for the sake of interest, here are the ages of the other eight justices: John Roberts, 54; John Paul Stevens, 89; Antonin Scalia, 73; Anthony Kennedy, 72; Clarence Thomas, 60; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 76; Stephen Breyer, 70; and Samuel Alito, 59.
UPDATE: NBC News is now running with the story, also.