David Souter sings Reno’s praises

Recently retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who as a lower court judge spent time in Reno, says it was a memorable time for him.

“Thirty-one years ago at this moment, I, too, was in Reno, Nevada,” he recently wrote. “1978 was my first year as a trial judge and I spent a very profitable four weeks in July and August of that year at the National Judicial College. Classes started at 8 in the morning, and the last one was not over until 9 at night. I learned much more that was useful to me, stayed physically fit at the higher altitude (and had the benefit of nature’s own blood doping when I got back to sea level), and reluctantly had to admit that the weather was fabulous. It was a good time for me, and I think of the University at Reno with happy recollections.”

Souter wrote the comments in an Aug. 13 letter thanking UNR journalism professor Jake Highton for a Sparks Tribune column praising Souter’s court service. The column was published in May after the justice announced his retirement. Souter did, however, take issue with Highton’s criticism of his position on cameras in the courtroom, which Highton described as “clearly wrong.”

“Before he died, Daniel Patrick Moynihan once remarked that what killed the Senate was television; the court should not choose the same fate for its own public proceedings,” Souter wrote.