Don't Let The Court House Door Hit You

U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, smiles after speaking during a dedication ceremony at the State Supreme Courthouse in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, July 9, 2008. Souter plans to retire at the end of the current court term, NPR reported April 30, 2009.
AP Photo/Jim Cole
Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.
David Souter may be the quietest and most low-key man ever to serve on the Supreme Court. He has made it official: He is retiring to return to the New Hampshire woods from whence he came.

By all accounts, he was a good Justice, thoughtful, reasonable.

For sure he was the surprise to the man who nominated him, the George Bush, who thought he was picking a conservative only to discover he had chosen a liberal. But these things happen sometimes when people get jobs for life.

I had no problem with the Justice's legal work. But as one who has lived 40
years in Washington, I'll be honest: I didn't care for his attitude.

He made it no secret that he hated the city, once describing his work as the best job in the world in the worst city in the world.

Another time he called life here "akin to an intellectual lobotomy."

Really? Our nation's capital? One of the most beautiful cities in the world?

Call me corny, but I have to confess, I've run into some pretty smart people here over the years, but then again I tried to get to know the city and its inhabitants. Who wouldn't if you were going to live in a place? Justice Souter, obviously.

I've never known anyone who ever saw him outside the court. But now he's leaving. I take it he won't miss Washington - but my guess is Washington will hardly miss him.