06/01/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

White House Silent On Souter: President Has Not Received "A Formal Communication"

The White House is reserving comment on the reported impending retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter.

From Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton comes this comment on Friday morning: "The President has not received a formal communication from Justice Souter and he deserves the right to make his own announcement."

The inclusion of the word "formal" before communication suggests that there have been private discussions between Souter and the White House. One would certainly presume so.

As for the timing to find a replacement, Souter is reportedly going to step down at the end of the current term -- this June -- but the Court does not pick up again until October. The Associated Press and others have reported that Souter will only formally retire once a successor is confirmed and in place.

How much time Obama will take to find a replacement is complete speculation, but it is hard to imagine him having more political capital then he does currently, so the White House may be inclined to move fast and squelch the inevitable circus that will accompany this process.

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