From NBC's Pete Williams
Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Judiciary Committee Republican, appears to have misstated when David Souter intends to retire from the Supreme Court.
Sessions said today that there's no need to rush the confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor.
"We have a good advantage in that Justice Souter's resignation doesn't take effect until October 5th, when the term ends," Sessions said, adding, "and I do think that gives us the ability to take our time and do it right," he said.
But when Justice Souter sent his letter to President Obama on May 1st, he wrote, "When the Supreme Court rises for the summer recess this year, I intend to retire from regular active service as a Justice."
That would mean end end of June or very early in July, not the beginning of October.
It's true that in the past, some justices have said their retirements would become effective at the moment a successor was nominated and confirmed. But that is not what Justice Souter said.