Friday, May 1, 2009

Supreme Court Justice David Souter Will Retire

Supreme Court Justice David Souter is going to retire at the end of this term. With his retirement, Obama will get his first chance to alter the make up of the Supreme Court. The ideological break down is unlikely to alter as Obama is expected to pick a liberal and Souter has been a reliable liberal vote.

This actually puts Obama in a rather tight spot. Unless Obama picks someone really far to the left, there is not much upside in his pick. The Justice will likely vote in a similar way that Souter has. Yes, it will secure the vote for anther few decades, but it is unlikely to change the vote. There is a significant potential downside. Picking a committed liberal is going to turn into an ideological battle. A battle that may really destroy any notion of bipartisan ship; well, any notion that is left.

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