Has Justice Souter decided that having the world’s greatest job no longer compensates for the fact that it is, in his words, in the world’s worst city? If so, then the President will be considering Court nominees sooner in his administration than many expected. Much is made of whether presidential and Congressional candidates have military service, but not so for Court nominees.
Although the Supreme Court has historically had a strong showing of veterans (including some noteworthy combat veterans) in its ranks, only three of the current members, by my calculation, have military experience: J. Stevens was a LCDR in the USNR during WWII (and apparently earned a Bronze Star for code-breaking services), J. Kennedy was a PFC in the California National Guard in 1961, and J. Alito was a Signal Corps officer inactive in the Army Reserve for several years.
Admittedly, there are a host of critical considerations at stake for selecting someone for the Court. But serving in uniform provides a unique perspective on a number of issues that a justice is likely to encounter during his or her service on the Court. And if the speculation proves true that the next nominee will be a woman, the number of veterans on the court is likely to remain at three.