Souter Appointed to the Supreme Court

Published: 1990
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
Senator Joseph Biden D-Delaware and Senator Edward Kennedy D-Massachusetts share a word during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee David Souter 9/14/1990.

Howard Dicus: It was the year Supreme Court Justice William Brennan retired, leaving Thurgood Marshall as the sole remaining Liberal. President Bush nominated David Souter a judge from New Hampshire with almost no paper trial to show his leanings. He didn't reveal much at his confirmation hearings either.

David Souter: ''I think for me to start answering that question, in effect, is for me to start discussing the concept of Roe v. Wade,''

Howard Dicus: The Senate Judiciary Committee decided it liked him even though it knew little about him.

Senate Judiciary Committee: “The nomination of David Hackett Souter will be reported to the floor of the United States Senate.”

Howard Dicus: And the Senate confirmed him. As 1990 ended, America was still waiting for rulings for that would clear up the mystery about how David Souter would vote. Congress passed the Clear Air Act in 1990, and the bill to protect the rights of handicapped, but a Civil Rights Bill, to make it easier to sue discriminating employers failed. White House demonstrators pressured the President to support it.

Protestors: 1,2,3,4, we don't want to wait no long. Sign the bill, George.

Howard Dicus: But George vetoed what he called a Quarter Bill and override stood. A ban on smoking hit passenger flights in 1990, and took hold with few problems, despite smokers fears when it began.

Smoker Woman: Six hours is a long time, but I don't think we've had to fly that long yet. That will drive me crazy. It going to make me nuts.