Gerard Magliocca points to evidence that Justice David Souter is about to retire from the Supreme Court:
Above the Law is reporting that Justice Souter has not hired clerks for the upcoming Term. While he is typically the last Justice to hire clerks, this is late even for him. This fact, combined with what I’m hearing from other people who probably know what they are talking about, convinces me that unless something extraordinary occurs in the next two months, he is retiring in June.
While speculation about vacancies based on the health of Justices is a bit crass, reading the tea leaves on ordinary retirements in this way strikes me as quite reasonable. So, let the speculation commence. Maybe someone on the faculty at Chicago, where Barack Obama once taught?
It’s worth noting that Souter was appointed nineteen years ago by President George H.W. Bush, a Republican, and went on to greatly disappoint conservatives hoping he’d be a stealthier Robert Bork. Indeed, he’s arguably more liberal than either of Bill Clinton’s appointees, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. One just never knows how appointees will vote once they’re settled in.