Souter and Reid

A new trade softcover edition of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s book The Good Fight contains a previously unpublished epilogue that touches on U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who last week informed President Obama he will step down after the current term of the court ends.

Reid wrote that after the Supreme Court effectively awarded the presidency to George Bush in 2000, he was so appalled by the court’s conduct that he sent a note to Souter praising him for “your clear thought, but most of all [for] your integrity.”

In a note responding to Reid, Souter seemed to confirm rumors that the Bush v. Gore ruling ruptured personal relationships on the Court: “Working through the aftermath of the decision has been difficult.”

Reid has often praised Souter, including a May 2005 speech in which he was critical of Bush judicial nominations: “They don’t want a David Souter, or an Anthony Kennedy, or a Sandra Day O’Connor, or a Ruth Bader Ginsberg, or a Stephen Breyer, all of whom were confirmed with near unanimous bipartisan support. They want a Clarence Thomas. who was confirmed with only 52 votes and has since proven to be an extremist on the Court. George Bush wants to turn the Senate into a second House of Representatives, a rubberstamp for his right-wing agenda and radical judges.”