NBC News reporter Pete Williams has just reported that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire. Williams cites several unnamed government officials and notes that Souter has not hired law clerks for next term.
Souter ordinarily hires his clerks late, but with the starting date for next term's clerks roughly two months away, his tardiness was causing increasing buzz in recent weeks that his retirement was near. Souter, 69, has long been said to be eager to return to New Hampshire, and has lamented that he has the best job in the world in the worst city in the world.
UPDATE: National Public Radio's Nina Totenberg is also reporting that Souter plans to retire at the end of the term. She says his timing also represents a calculation on Souter's part that neither John Paul Stevens nor Ruth Bader Ginsburg will retire soon. Justices try to avoid multiple vacancies at the same time, if possible.