[JURIST] Justice David Souter [official profile; JURIST news archive] of the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] will retire at the end of the 2008 term in June, according to Thursday reports [Washington Post report]. Souter has not issued a a public statement and no formal announcement has been made by the Court, but the White House was reportedly informed of Souter's decision. There has already been much speculation [Washington Post report] about President Barack Obama's possible nominees, with primarily women and minorities on the list. The last three Supreme Court appointees were white males. Obama declined to comment [AP report] on Souter's retirement Friday.
Souter, 69, was nominated to the Supreme Court by then-president George H.W. Bush and was seated in October 1990. He previously served on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Souter was viewed as one of the more liberal justices, often siding with Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer.
3:30 PM ET – Souter has submitted a letter of resignation [text, PDF], and the Supreme Court has issued a press release [text, DOC] confirming his resignation.