April 16, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Political Fight Already Brewing Over Souter Retirement

Souter’s retirement would give Obama an opportunity to put his stamp on the nine-member court. Seven of its members were appointed by Republican presidents, including Chief Justice John Roberts, who was nominated by George W. Bush.It will also prove to be an early, and perhaps major, test of party-switcher Sen. Arlen Specter’s (Pa.) fealty to the Democratic Party, as well as the new Republican leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will be responsible for vetting Obama’s pick. Specter had served as the GOP’s top Republican on the Judiciary panel, a post he gave up when he bolted to the Democratic ranks earlier this week. The most likely successors are Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah), both conservatives who have taken a tough stand on judicial nominees in the past. Keith Koffler contributed to this report.

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