David Souter; Supreme Confidence

Souter takes the stand, but declines to state his views on abortion rights as foes search in vain for reasons to reject his high court nomination

In New Hampshire legal circles, David Souter is renowned for getting to the bottom line faster than any other judge in the state's history. In Washington last week, Souter provided convincing evidence that the accolade is richly deserved. After two days of sometimes tedious give-and-take between Souter and the Senate Judiciary Committee, a bottom line was clearly visible to all: barring unexpected revelations, the committee lacks a cogent rationale for rejecting President Bush's first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Although women's groups have announced their opposition to Souter for his refusal to answer specific questions about abortion rights, the unassuming,...

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