David H. Souter
No. 7 David H. Souter (Associate Justice): U.S. Supreme Court
No one could predict the joy of wise Latinas on May 1st, when Supreme Court Judge David H. Souter informed President Obama of his retirement after 19 years. Souter was known to have become disenchanted with Washington ways and yearned to return to the more measured pace of his New Hampshire home. “I find the workload of what I do sufficiently great that when the term of the court starts I undergo a sort of annual intellectual lobotomy,” he once said.6 The court’s philosophical balance will not change, but with 3 new justices in less than 4 years the High Court loses tangible experience amidst an ever-growing case load of more influential rulings. Souter leaves with significant breadth of judicial experience, having served as state Attorney General, state Superior and Supreme Court Judge, and on the U.S. Court of Appeals. When appointed by President Bush in 1990, Souter was thought to be a reliable conservative vote on the Court. Although he considered himself neutral, Souter’s rulings often disappointed conservatives and surprised liberals. His retirement paved the way for the nation’s first female Latin American justice, Sondra Sotomayor.