Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s expected retirement is not likely to change the court’s delicate ideological balance on controversial issues. Souter, 69, is a Republican who usually joins the panel’s moderate-liberal bloc on criminal law and many other issues. National Public Radio notes that Souter is in the younger half of the court’s age range, with five justices older and just three younger. With only one woman on the court, most of the early betting is that President Obama will focus on potential female replacements.Among many being mentioned are Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears; Diane Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who taught at the University of Chicago along with Obama; Sonia Sotomayor, a Hispanic judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; and Elena Kagan, U.S. Solicitor General. Obama has also talked about choosing someone with “life experience,” which could point to a non-judge like Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm or Homeland Security Secretary and former prosecutor Janet Napolitano.