Business Will Miss Justice Souter

Business Will Miss Justice Souter

Letter to the Editor in The Wall Street Journal
May 19, 2009
Originally published in The Wall Street Journal

Your editorial about Justice Souter’s retirement is much too
optimistic (“Succeeding Souter,” May 2). It predicts that Supreme Court
Justice David Souter “is likely to be replaced by a much younger
version of himself.”

On social issues, this is true. Mr.
Souter’s successor will likely share his liberal stances on racial
preferences and partial-birth abortion.

But on economics,
Mr. Souter’s successor will be less moderate than he was. Mr. Souter
provided the deciding vote to overturn some excessive punitive damage
awards and state regulations that conflicted with federal laws
shielding commerce. It is hard to see President Obama nominating a
justice with such views, since Mr. Obama has regretted that the Supreme
Court ”. . . didn’t break free” from legal constraints to bring about
“redistribution of wealth.”

Conservatives may not miss Justice Souter, but business will.