President Obama decided to address the media about Supreme Court Justice David Souter's retirement and made an unexpected cameo during White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' press briefing. After joking needing to do Gibbs' job for him, Obama said he just spoke to Souter and called him a "fair-minded and independent judge" and noted how he "consistently defied labels and rejected absolutes, focusing instead on just one task -- reaching a just result in the case that was before him." The President added told Souter that he was "incredibly grateful for his dedicated service."

You can read the President's remarks here or see them below. As for the next justice, Obama said, "I will seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity. I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives -- whether they can make a living and care for their families; whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation." And you can see Souter's resignation letter here [PDF]—look like he signed with a fountain pen.

Obama ended his time at the press briefing by telling reporters, "I would like you to give Robert a tough time again." The Caucus notes that Gibbs, when he got the lectern back, told reporters "You can be assured that we’ll have a rigorous process in place," referring to the vetting issues that plagued Cabinet appointees earlier this year.

Also, Gawker has this quote from a dazzled Savannah Guthrie of MSNBC: "I felt a little bit like I was having a dream sequence... We attend those briefings every day and rarely are they so exciting."