Souter Makes Rare Speech in Chicago

August 2, 2009

Download Story
AP/File
Newly retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter is lamenting the American public's lack of civic education.  In a rare appearance, Souter addressed the American Bar Association at a stop in Chicago over the weekend.

Justice Souter warned American Bar Association members that the republic could be lost if Americans don't learn how it works.

In his New England drawl, Souter also lists what he sees as threats to the judicial branch.

SOUTER: ...threats posed by attacks on the judges for politically unpopular decisions, and threats posed by the conflicts created by partisan state judicial elections. 

Souter is following in the footsteps of his former colleague on the court, Sandra Day O'Connor, who has devoted her retirement to improving civic education in schools.

The appearance was a rare one for Souter, a famously reclusive man, and one of his first since announcing his retirement from the high court.