Statement on the Resignation of Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.
I have been advised today that, after 16 years on the Supreme Court bench, Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., has announced his retirement. Throughout his career, Justice Powell has won a reputation for intellectual balance and fair-mindedness. He is known for his courtliness and courtesy and is truly a Justice's Justice.
These past 16 years have been among the most momentous in the Court's history. Justice Powell's personal role in the Court's decisions on a wide range of issues has led one commentator to say that he "has had as powerful an influence as anyone alive" in interpreting the law of the land. I speak for all Americans in saying that his has been a wise and generous influence and one that will be greatly missed.
The President's responsibility under article II, section 2 of the Constitution to nominate Justices of the Supreme Court is one of the most significant duties of my office. I believe that the Court should enter the next term at full strength, and so I will soon be submitting to the Senate my nomination for Justice Powell's successor.
Ronald Reagan, Statement on the Resignation of Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/253077