David Hackett Souter (born September 17, 1939) has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1990. He filled the seat vacated by William J. Brennan. On the Court he usually votes with the liberal wing, though not as consistently as his predecessor.
President Bush (Sr.) nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on July 25, 1990, and he took his seat on October 9, 1990. The press called him the “stealth justice” since his professional record provoked no real controversy, and provided very little paper trail.
Initially, from 1990-93, he tended to be a conservative-leaning Justice, but the symbolic turning point came in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the Court reaffirmed the essential holding in Roe v. Wade. Souter (along with Kennedy & O’Conner) developed a joint opinion which upheld all the restrictions in the Casey case except for the mandatory notification of a husband while asserting the essential holding of Roe, that a right to an abortion is PROTECTED by the Constitution.
Although appointed by a Republican president, and thus expected to be conservative (see Segal-Cover score), he is usually associated with the liberal wing of the Court.
“David Souter.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 1 May 2007, 20:19 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 1 May 2007