Obama gets his first Supreme Court pick

Justice David Souter is retiring at the end of this term in June.

This likely doesn’t change much. He’s been one of the reliably liberal justices, and Obama will likely choose another liberal. On the other hand, justices often end up surprising even the presidents who chose them.

The Dems now have (or they should by that point) a filibuster proof majority if the votes break down along party lines, so he’ll probably get whoever he wants unless there’s something seriously wrong with whoever he nominates (like they haven’t paid their taxes, or som… Oh. Right.).

Souter joined both dissenting opinions in Heller v. DC, and I’d be willing to bet that one of Obama’s “acid tests” for any nominee will be about guns, so from a gun rights perspective there’s little hope for a positive change,* and we’re probably looking at the same thing for most other key “conservative” issues, too. By the same token, there’s not much risk for a negative change, either. Barring any surprises, this does not seem to be a game-changing vacancy.

* I did not do that on purpose. On the other hand, I left it there when I noticed it. [bugs bunny voice]Ain’t I a stinker?[/bugs bunny voice]

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