Souter's court legacy mixed on abortion, First Amendment cases
Published: May 1, 2009
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As Justice David Souter prepares to retire this summer after 19 years on the Supreme Court, he leaves a mixed legacy of jurisprudence: not so friendly to pro-life perspectives on cases involving abortion, but sometimes strong for religious interests in First Amendment areas. Souter, 69, plans to retire in late June, various news organizations reported April 30. His departure would create the first vacancy on the court since 2005, when Chief Justice William Rehnquist died shortly after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito replaced them. When Souter was nominated to the court by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, many observers predicted he would be a conservative vote on issues such as abortion restrictions, government aid to public schools and religious expression in schools and public places. His actual record turned out to be different from those predictions.
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