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Posts Tagged ‘David Souter’

Nets to Carry Obama Supreme Court Announcement

ABC, CBS and NBC will all air network-wide special reports at 10:15amET for Pres. Obama’s announcement of his Supreme Court pick. Matt Lauer anchors for NBC, Diane Sawyer and Chris Cuomo will anchor for ABC and Katie Couric for CBS. News organizations are reporting Obama will nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the seat held by retiring Justice David Souter.

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Supremes Author on the Supreme Pick

Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

Toobin.jpgIt doesn’t happen every year and there are no (visible) shoulder pads, but covering the search for a new Supreme Court justice is “the Nerd Super Bowl” for CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin.

Explain yourself, counselor.

“The [judges'] written opinions can seem esoteric. It’s fairly abstract stuff,” says Toobin, a Harvard Law grad and author of ’07 bestseller The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.

“It’s not like a political campaign, where candidates are giving speeches — red meat — to the public,” he continues. “Most people don’t read actual opinions or see the Supreme Court in action.”

Toobin, King of the Nerds, does both. The challenge, he says, is to decode the legalese into language that “brings the issues before the court alive in a meaningful way for people who are not lawyers.”

Translation: Convey the enormity of the stakes without putting viewers into REM sleep.

Gender will be a big factor in President Obama’s choice of nominee for David Souter‘s seat, Toobin says. He puts the odds at 80-20.

It puzzles Toobin that there have been only two female Supremes in the history of the high court — Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired in 2006; and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 76 and battling pancreatic cancer.

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Update: NBC’s Pete Williams NOT First with Souter News

Williams_5.1.jpgUpdate: Actually, NPR was first with the news at 9:36pm. Nina Totenberg reported that Souter is expected to remain on the bench until a successor has been chosen and confirmed.

Earlier: Last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, NBC’s justice correspondent Pete Williams broke the news that Supreme Court Justice David Souter would be stepping down at the end of the current term next month.

Williams first reported the news at 9:57pm. FNC’s Greta Van Susteren reported the news at 10:12. CNN reported it at 10:37 during AC360.