The Washington Post today offers a heartfelt portrait of Justice Souter that invokes much of my admiration and inspiration for the Superior Court Judge- a simple life fills with unwavering public service and modesty.
Justice Souter recently announced his retirement from the Highest Court leaving this June when the Court will recess for the year. At the age of 69, he would have then served in the bench of the Superior Court for 19 years. Souter's legal legacy in the heart of the liberals will never be forgotten, but the life that he led depicted in "Quiet N.H. Home Is Where Souter's Heart Has Always Been" humbles many of its readers.
"He never unpacked," said Thomas Rath, one of Souter's closest friends. "A few years ago, he said, 'I figured I'd take the pictures out of the boxes and hang them up, but I figured in a few years I'd be coming back to New Hampshire and I'd have to pack them back up, so I might as well leave them in the boxes.' "
At the relatively young age of 69, Souter is giving up what he once called "the world's best job in the world's worst city" for a life of simple solitude in Weare. It is a rural hamlet that fascinates him so much, he has told neighbors he may someday write a history of the town.
When he departs this summer in his Volkswagen sedan -- he dislikes flying and always drives himself to and from Washington, leaving at odd hours to game the traffic -- Souter will cross the Piscataquog River, drive past country stands selling maple syrup and fresh eggs, and turn down a narrow, unmarked dirt road.
**David H. Souter's house in Weare, N.H., a rural town where the Supreme Court justice has said he finds "restoration." He will return there this summer as he retires from the bench. Photo by Philip Rucker of The Washington Post.