Gettysburg trip changed perspective of Justice David Souter

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Supreme Court Justice David Souter says it took a trip to the Gettysburg battlefield to change his perspective on handling difficult cases.

In a rare public address yesterday, the justice from New Hampshire admitted that at least one Supreme Court case prompted him to ask, "Why do I have to resolve that case?"

He said he found an answer last year while visiting the Pennsylvania battlefield where the Civil War changed course in 1863. Souter noted that the commander assigned to hold the far end of the Union line, Maine's Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, ordered a bayonet charge in a desperate maneuver that ended a Confederate attack.

Souter says the move was 1 of the turning points of American history. Then, he said he could never again say it is unfair that he has to decide tough cases.

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