This is Obama’s shot to leave a positive, lasting legacy… and promote equality. Let’s hope he doesn’t screw it up.
Justice David H. Souter formally told the White House on Friday that he will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term in June, a development that stirred intense interest about who his replacement will be and how the change will affect future court rulings on abortion and the balance between personal liberty and national security.
President Obama praised Justice Souter and his record on the court, and said he hoped to have a new justice confirmed by the Senate by the time the court reconvenes in October. But before that happens, a vigorous debate in the Senate is virtually certain as lawmakers and the nominee discuss what kind of America they envision.
Promising to nominate a replacement with “a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity,” Mr. Obama, who startled reporters by walking to the lectern for a cameo appearance in the middle of the daily White House press briefing, said that he would look for a candidate for whom the law was not a matter of abstract theory, but a force that affects real people in their daily lives.