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(NECN: Greg Wayland, Boston, Mass.) - One of the nation's most powerful people will soon be stepping down from his job. After 18 years on the bench, Supreme Court Justice David Souter will retire in June. President Barack Obama must now decide on a replacement for Souter, and many are placing the governor of Massachusetts on a list of possible candidates. Souter's departure is not expected to tilt the conservative-liberal balance of the High Court. Former Souter clerk and Boston College law professor, Mary-Rose Papandrea, says she was not surprised that the scholarly New Hampshire-bred loner might be shunning the legal limelight. Souter was a disappointment to conservatives and to the first President Bush, who chose him, siding often with court liberals. Boston University law professor Jack Beermann agrees. So, who might replace him? President Obama is not commenting, but gave a hint as a presidential candidate. "Yes, I want a woman on the court. Absolutely." "The three candidates that have been mentioned most frequently are Judge Diane Wood on the Seventh Circuit, also affiliated with the University of Chicago Law School, Judge Sonya Sottemeyer, who sits on the Second Circuit, and Alena Kagan," says Papandrea. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has been mentioned and has quickly quashed rumors he might be a candidate.