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Justice Stevens to Retire

Shocking absolutely no one, Supreme Court Justice Stevens has announced his plans for retirement.

Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, the court's oldest member and leader of its liberal bloc, said Friday he is retiring, Fox News has confirmed, giving President Obama his second high court opening to fill.

In a letter to the president, Stevens, the longest active serving member, said he has "concluded that it would be in the best interests of the court to have my successor appointed and confirmed well in advance of the commencement of the court's next term" in October.

Stevens said he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July.

His retirement will come 9 days before his 90th birthday.

Ann Althouse says, "Let the games begin!" Indeed. This should be very interesting. It would be in Obama's nature to try to appoint the most liberal, controversial candidate. Can his fellow Democrats in Congress stand another polarizing fight in an election year? Could this be the issue that prevents a recovery in the poll for Democratic candidates?

Get your popcorn folks, this should be a good one.


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Comments (40)

O NOOOO! Now Obama's gonna ... (Below threshold)

O NOOOO! Now Obama's gonna put a LIBERAL on the court! And Ginsberg's going toooo!

Lesseee...replacements....Andy Stern? Eric Holder? Steve Green?

The mind boggles.

Let Me see?? Yeah he'll pic... (Below threshold)

Let Me see?? Yeah he'll pick Piglosi!

We can all take solace in t... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

We can all take solace in the fact that, just as was the case with Souter, Obama won't make things any worse.

'Course it'd be nice to see things get better for a change, but that's not gonna happen until after January 2013.

Looking over his shoulder a... (Below threshold)

Looking over his shoulder after the 2010 elections, Barry might well nominate Hillary! Insurance in case the Dem's decide Barry is more of a liability in 2012 than an asset.

A heated confirmation proce... (Below threshold)

A heated confirmation process would serve to rally the faithful of both progressives and conservatives, but whither the independent swing voters? I guess that would depend upon who is nominated and what issues become the focal points.

A bigger question may be whether or not the Republicans will simply roll over again as they did with the Sotomayor nomination.

The naivete of the author o... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

The naivete of the author of this entry is almost too stunning for words.

Here's a hint: Obama will nominate a liberal, the Democrat-controlled Senate will confirm that liberal along strict party lines, and then that liberal will be issuing liberal decisions on very important matters for perhaps as many as several decades.

Getting excited over the theatre of an Obama Supreme Court nomination is like getting excited over the drama of a root canal without anesthetic.

He'll pick Oprah... (Below threshold)

He'll pick Oprah

"I guess that would depend ... (Below threshold)

"I guess that would depend upon who is nominated and what issues become the focal points."

Those are simple: Illegal voting amnesty, a woman's right to sleaze,and renaming mount Rushmore to mount Barrykilimanjaro

"Justice Stevens to Reti... (Below threshold)

"Justice Stevens to Retire"

I think that "retire" should be amended to "expire".

Janet Napalotano would be a... (Below threshold)

Janet Napalotano would be an interesting choice. She has no "paper trail" of court decisions and her Liberal immigration policy for Arizona is well known, even though she got confirmed as "home land security" chief.

A Liberal replacing a Liberal is a push, so there is no change in the make up of the court.

No. Big. Deal.

50-50 Hillary will be nomi... (Below threshold)
retired military:

50-50 Hillary will be nominated.

a. Takes away her as competition for 2012

b. May take some heat off of him as republicans attack her.

c. gives Hillary fans a bone

d. gets health care out of the news.

e. She is already vetted as "the smartest woman in the world" (at least
according to dems).

f. steady liberal vote

"a. Takes away her as co... (Below threshold)

"a. Takes away her as competition for 2012"

Bull shit!! The teleprompter could beat this fool in 2010!! Hell! I bet You even jimmah cotter the plo's best pal refugee could whip his scurvy ass.

I'm thinking, if not Hillar... (Below threshold)

I'm thinking, if not Hillary, then Valerie Jarret.

No matter who, expect our first moonbat justice.

I mean 2012??Sorry... (Below threshold)

I mean 2012??

Sorry, eyes are failin at 48

Other sites are reporting t... (Below threshold)
NJ Mike:

Other sites are reporting that Jennifer Granholm(D-Canada) is the front runner..........

Other sites are reporting t... (Below threshold)

Other sites are reporting that Jennifer Granholm(D-Canada) is the front runner..........

Why not. She's destroyed MI, on to the next target.

Grandholm? Too bad that di... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Grandholm? Too bad that didn't happen 7 1/2 years ago...

I wonder if he's not well. ... (Below threshold)

I wonder if he's not well. Until recently he was going to hang around to "break the record". Then he was floating trial retirement balloons, almost certainly next year. Now suddenly he's stepping down forcing Democrats to rubber stamp an activist liberal judge*, ensuring no let up in tea party energy over the summer. Bad news for Obey-Won's party.

That said, it was time for Stevens to go. His Heller dissent was a rambling morass of idiocy and overlooked details. I mean, he cited things saying 'they don't say this' only to have Scalia quote excerpts from those same sources where the writer said things that Stevens said didn't exist. He claimed that the majority opinion said things that simply aren't in there.

*I find it hard to believe the Won will nominate any other kind. But I'll be amongst the first to say it (since you'll be seeing this in the press soon): "Will Obama nominate a centrist jurist for Stevens seat, thereby garnering GOP support at a critical time and possibly saving Democrats from a rout in November? Of course the GOP could choose to try to block the nomination of the centrist that Obama nominates, further eroding their already slim chances of making gains in Congress after their opposition to the wildly popular and effective and deficit-reducing Obamacare."

The answer is no. No he will not nominate a centrist. (C'mon, did you see his recess appointments?) His ideal candidate is a 23 year old Organizing for Obama volunteer with a degree in "communications" or "liberal arts" that "knows everything" and will vote for whatever Obama wants.

Oh, and one must remember that anyone right of the people carrying Obama as Hitler signs would be considered 'centrist' to the press, while actually being several light years to the left of Justice Kennedy.

Forget about nominating Hil... (Below threshold)

Forget about nominating Hillary, I predict Obama will nominate Sarah Palin.

For those of you with an ul... (Below threshold)

For those of you with an ultra-short memory, Hillary would not be my choice, now or ever! If you'll recall, she was a very junior member of the Congressional Watergate committee. If you examine the records of that committee, you will see the depths of her ignorance of basic common law. It's amazing to me that Hillary, The Won, and the First Lady all are highly educated lawyers and all of them have proven themselves to be woefully ignorant of the U.S. Constitution! Do we really want someone like that on SCOTUS? My response is hell to the no!

Why not grow a pair and make waves if someone we find offensive is nominated - as is almost certain to be the case? Why be complaisant wimps once again as we were with the "wise Latina"? Are Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi that frightening to deal with? Is Rahm Emanuel the Frank Nitti of this administration? For the love of all that is holy - speak up people!

Of course the robes WOULD h... (Below threshold)

Of course the robes WOULD hide the inevitable pantsuit!

Well, it's going to be one ... (Below threshold)

Well, it's going to be one of the 'retiring' or 'endangered' Dems who took his bribes for Obamacare.

STUPAK for SCOTUS... (Below threshold)


Actually, #21 my fondest "w... (Below threshold)
NJ Mike:

Actually, #21 my fondest "wish" would be for mass aneurisms to at least 6 levels of executive succession, with Robert Bork being asked to fill in the spot, and then an interim election.
Be nice to see which Bible Sarah would be sworn in on........

Well This shows how far rig... (Below threshold)

Well This shows how far right the court has drifted. The most liberal member of the court, Stevens was put there by Republican president Gerald Ford.

Heck Only two members of the court (Ginsburg and Sotomayer) are actual democratic apointments. The other two "Liberal" members of the court are also Republican apointments. Meaning they are just moderate Republicans.

Given that justices likes Roberts and Alito are as conservative as you possibly be and agree with wizbang folks on well.... everthing! I hope to god Obama does manage to get an actual progressive on the bench instead of another watered down Republican. We don't need to go any further to the right.

I nominate Al Franken!!!!</... (Below threshold)

I nominate Al Franken!!!!

Michelle O.With Ba... (Below threshold)

Michelle O.

With Barack facing unemployment after 2012, they'll need her income from a lifetime appointment.

914ref Post 12.... (Below threshold)
retired military:

ref Post 12.

Notice I didnt say he would win in 2012 but he has to get past the dem nomination first and the way he is going there is a chance he may not even do that.

Gayle Miller ref post 22.

Are you saying Hillary is unqualified and inexperienced? Look at who we have as POTUS and who he has selected so far to fill positions and you can see that with this administration experience and qualifications are pretty wide open on any job you can name.

Hermie ref post 24.

Sincerely doubt it. He doesnt need them for the future so why bother. Some lawyer from the unions might have a shot though.

Finally ref post 29.

I wouldnt put it past them to nominate Michelle.

The smartest thing Obama ca... (Below threshold)

The smartest thing Obama can do is to nominate a marginally left of center judge with impeccable credentials - takes the politics of the impending election table.

Personally, I think Obama just cant stray far from his ideological roots. He will nominate some far lefty that will pass muster with his almost-super majority Congress (and the GOP knows that replacing Stevens with another lefty does not change the Supreme Court's make-up)- one that will absolutely incense the center and right leading to even larger midterm election losses.

Obama and his handlers so want to ram through the progressive agenda that they wont recognize that their perceived momentum is taking the Democratic party off a cliff.

Anyone want to take bets that it wont be someone with "minority" credentials?

I nominate the teleprompter... (Below threshold)

I nominate the teleprompter...Its the logical successor.

rightsaidfred-I'm ... (Below threshold)


I'm curious to know who you think appointed Justice Breyer.

wronglysaidfred-<i... (Below threshold)


"We don't need to go any further to the right."

If we veer any further left will have to rename the Whitehouse the Kremlin.

posted by 914"I... (Below threshold)

posted by 914

"I mean 2012??

Sorry, eyes are failin at 48"

When I start quoting myself I know Im 1. Lonely and 2. Ready for a death panel.

By the way I lied. Im not 48 for 5 more months,.

brain - "Anyone want to... (Below threshold)

brain - "Anyone want to take bets that it wont be someone with "minority" credentials?"

That it won't be? Not on your life.

I'd bet the race card will be played, who that Black American might be I haven't clue one, but I'm still betting obummer will find and nominate one.

rightsaidfred - "I hope... (Below threshold)

rightsaidfred - "I hope to god Obama does manage to get an actual progressive on the bench instead of another watered down Republican."

Gee, always thought a SC candidate should be non-partisan... ya know like rule on the RULE OF LAW.

Instead of MAKE THE LAW.

"Heck Only two members o... (Below threshold)

"Heck Only two members of the court (Ginsburg and Sotomayer) are actual democratic ( PLANTS)

Yes and if the nutcase in chief has his disgusting way it will take 50 million lives to undo the damage of one ego maniac..

Michelle O surrendered her ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Michelle O surrendered her law license in 1992. I doubt you could smoke her past the senate. (besides, the robes would cover up her arms and she needs to show off her arms to distract from her under bite)

The only good news is that Stevens has long been the most liberal member of the court so there can't be that much of a change. If BO manages to get some wacko ideologue on the court the odds are that they would have little influence.

I doubt you cou... (Below threshold)
I doubt you could smoke her past the senate.
Are you kidding? They'd be afraid to vote against her.

They may be willing to snub Barry, but Michelle? No way.

brain - "Anyone want to tak... (Below threshold)
retired military:

brain - "Anyone want to take bets that it wont be someone with "minority" credentials?"

It will be a minority. In fact, I read that the far outside choice was someone who was a female and openly gay. In my book that will probably be the one he chooses as it may help assuage the gay voters who are so pissed at him.

Jim M.

"Michelle O surrendered her law license in 1992"

You dont need a law license to be on the Supreme Court. The only requirements are laid out in the constitution. (not that that petty document matters with this administration). US citizen and of a certain age I beleive. Dont even have to be able to spell the word LAW.

I think Ginsberg is farther left than Stevens.

Congressional Republicans c... (Below threshold)
James H:

Congressional Republicans could seize the narrative and be constructive at the same time if they wanted. They could put together a list of lawyers, legal scholars, and judges who range from just left of Joe Lieberman to just right of, oh, say, Eric Cantor. Offer these people up publicly as solid candidates for the bench. Instantly, the GOP has demonstrated its willingness to work with Obama, and it's up to President Obama to tespond with similar bipartisan noises.






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