Thursday, May 27, 2010

Didn't answer any questions about Kagan's sexuality, therefore

Though he declined to be interviewed, my favorite SCOTUS justice of my lifetime, David Souter, is featured in a little AP item.
For Souter, retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court last June has not meant retirement from the bench.

At the age of 70, he is unwilling to hang up his robe and is hearing cases one or two days a month for the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which handles federal appeals for Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico. * * *

By retiring at age 69, he became one of the youngest judges to leave the bench. Friends say he never enjoyed Washington - he once said he had "the world's best job in the world's worst city."

So they are not surprised by his decision to return to the 1st Circuit court, where he had served just one day before his nomination.

"It's something he always told us he was going to do," said Norman Stahl, a senior judge on the court who has been friends with Souter for 40 years. "He loved the work (of the Supreme Court), but he was never a fan of living in Washington, so he's enjoying being home and sitting here."

* * * Mark Tushnet, a Harvard Law School professor who has written extensively about the Supreme Court, said Souter is working more often than most retired justices. He said Souter may enjoy the difference in the appellate work compared with the Supreme Court. * * *

Souter returned to the appellate court in January. It is close to his home in New Hampshire, where earlier in his career he served as state attorney general, Superior Court judge and associate justice of the state Supreme Court. A bachelor, he recently moved from his family's 200-year-old farmhouse in Weare to a more modern home in a suburb of Concord.

He also has been working on a New Hampshire task force formed to improve civics education in public schools. In a speech to the American Bar Association last year, Souter warned that the failure of many Americans to understand how the government works poses a threat to the ability of the nation's judges to remain free from political pressure.

"There is a danger to judicial independence when people have no understanding of how the judiciary fits into the constitutional scheme," Souter said.

Friends say Souter is spending his spare time settling into his new home and trying to organize a massive book collection.
Sounds like the ideal retirement.

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