Justice Souter and the Civil Rules
13 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2010 Last revised: 12 Nov 2012
Date Written: March 10, 2010
Justice Souter’s recent retirement from the Court after nearly twenty years presents a unique opportunity to comment on his legacy. No doubt others will eulogize or castigate him for his membership in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey troika, but there is much more to the man and his jurisprudence. Indeed, the danger is that Justice Souter will be pigeonholed into one opinion, an opinion that he wrote early in his Supreme Court career, to the detriment of understanding the complex justice that he was. This short essay therefore analyzes a unique set of opinions - those that he authored on the federal civil rules. And what it finds is a justice deeply committed to the fair treatment of the litigants that come before him. That trait says much about David Souter, both the justice and the man.
Keywords: Souter, Twombly, Iqbal, Twiqbal, Mayle, Ortiz, Bowles, Casey
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