Souter’s Decision: Justice David Souter, who once said he has the world’s best job in the world’s worst city, has told the White House that he plans to retire, according to multiple reports. Word leaked out almost two months before the end of the Supreme Court’s term, the usual time for a justice to announce a retirement. On The BLT last night, Tony Mauro had an early overview of the impact and Souter’s potential successors. The Washington Post adds two nuggets: that Souter’s colleagues wanted him to stay, and that Vice President Joe Biden is drawing up a list of candidates.
Accomplished Lawyer Dies: The chair of Kilpatrick Stockton’s Supreme Court and appellate practice was found dead in his Washington office Thursday morning in what police are investigating as a suicide. Legal Times and The National Law Journal report that Mark Levy, 59, counsel at Kilpatrick, was an accomplished appellate lawyer with 16 Supreme Court arguments under his belt. He had last argued at the Court in October in a case he won.
Al-Marri Pleads Guilty: The a Qatar-born man held more than seven years in the U.S. as a suspected al Qaeda sleeper agent pleaded guilty Thursday to providing material support to terrorists, The Wall Street Journal reports. There was a time when Ali al-Marri’s case presented a major legal challenge to the Obama administration because he was imprisoned without charge as an “enemy combatant.” Now, he faces up to 15 years in prison under a plea agreement with the government.
Voting & Race: A day after the racial dynamics of voting were in the spotlight at the Supreme Court, the Pew Research Center released an analysis Thursday saying that the longstanding gap between blacks and whites in voter participation evaporated in the presidential election last year. The New York Times reports that the analysis also found, for the first time, that black women turned out at a higher rate than any other racial, ethnic and gender group.
Zodiac Claim: Deborah Perez, a California real estate agent, announced at a sidewalk news conference in San Francisco that her father was the infamous “Zodiac” serial killer, the Los Angeles Times reports. By one estimate, 1,200 people have boasted of knowing the identity of the man who stalked lovers’ lanes and taunted the police with letters to the media.