National Public Radio's Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg is reporting that Supreme Court Justice David Souter has told the White House that he plans to retire at the end of the court's current term, at the end of June. He is expected to remain on the bench until a successor is named.
Souter, 69, has long made it clear that he was looking to retire. The decision would give President Obama his first appointment to the high court and, Totenberg says, "most observers expect that he will appoint a woman."
The court currently has one female justice — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is recovering from cancer surgery.
But don't look for any ideological change on the court. Although Souter was appointed by the first President Bush, he "generally votes with the more liberal members of the court, a group of four that is in a rather consistent minority."