David Souter: An 18th Century Man

David Souter is a flinty New Englander with a love of books and a reverence for legal precedent. He has plenty of brains, but does he have a heart?

In this the age of shameless self-promotion, Supreme Court nominee David Souter comes onto the national stage as an oddity. No one knows quite what to make of a man who has a life, not a life-style, who lives modestly, works hard, spends inconspicuously, attends church, enjoys solitude, honors his mother, and helps his neighbors. While part of being a public official these days is vying for an appearance on Nightline, Souter is extremely publicity shy, pursuing a life of quiet introspection.

When he was named attorney general of New Hampshire in 1976, Souter decided not to move into the office...