At 69, he's not even close to being the oldest on the U.S. Supreme Court: He's sixth-oldest out of the nine, and looking way up at John Paul Stevens at age 89.
Nor is his health apparently an issue, as it is with fellow Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is battling pancreatic cancer.
But apparently, Justice David Souter saw the gettin' was good, and he's getting out this June.
He may have been planning this for some time -- perhaps since Obama's election -- as he apparently didn't hire clerks as usual for the next year.
But the gettin' got even better for the liberal Souter after Republican Sen. Arlen Specter announced this week he was defecting to the Democrats -- putting the ruling party tantalizingly close to the magical 60-vote filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
That should give President Obama more latitude to select a successor who is even more to the left of Souter.
That may not mean a whole lot in the short term -- a liberal replacing a liberal. But it does give longevity to the liberal seat, as a younger replacement will carry Souter's liberalism, most likely on steroids, years into the future.
Likewise, the older members of the court are mostly liberal -- so most of the Supreme Court vacancies that Obama fills are likely to be opportunities to add length, rather than width, to the liberal faction of the court.
Souter was a colossal disappointment for conservatives, particularly given that it was President George H.W. Bush who appointed him. Souter helped reaffirm Roe v. Wade -- and in the outrageous Kelo v. New London , he helped a sharply divided court rule that governments can forcibly take your private property and transfer it to other private entities if elected leaders think someone else can do more with your land than you are.
That's the kind of imperious government we threw off in 1776.
But if it's the kind of government and society we want today, we're about to get more of it.