April 4th, 2010
01:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Justice Stevens to decide soon on retirement

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says he will soon decide whether to step down after 35 years as the leader of the liberal wing of the nation's highest court.
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says he will soon decide whether to step down after 35 years as the leader of the liberal wing of the nation's highest court.

(CNN) - Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says he will soon decide whether to step down after 35 years as the leader of the liberal wing of the nation's highest court.

Stevens' comments, published Saturday by The New York Times and The Washington Post, amplified what he told CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on March 8 - that he would make up his mind about retirement in about a month.

"We are just about at a month," Toobin said Saturday night. "I don't think he meant that precisely to the day, but I think we will hear in the month of April that he is retiring."

Steven's retirement has been the cause of growing speculation since last fall, when he hired one law clerk for the upcoming session of the court, Toobin said. Until then, he had hired his customary four.

"Last fall, he hired one law clerk which is all that a retiring justice is entitled to," Toobin said.

Stevens celebrates his 90th birthday on April 20.

His retirement will give President Obama another chance to put his stamp on the court. Last summer, he named Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the court.

In Stevens' place, Obama will likely nominate another Democrat, thus maintaining the court's ideological balance of five conservative to four liberal-leaning judges.

Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania - a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which considers Supreme Court nominees - said Sunday that he would lobby Obama to choose a successor for Stevens who supports limiting executive power built up during George W. Bush's presidency.

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Filed under: Obama administration • Supreme Court
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Preston kathy

    We need some young people on the court that are not afraid to make a right decision

    April 4, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Charlie in Maine

    See if you can get a "retirement package" and take Scalia and Thomas with you.

    Happy retirement you have earned it. Thanks for hangin in there throughout the Bush Error. Now you can be replaced by some one more like you. And less like Rush Limbaugh.

    April 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. vwrtb

    Gotta go before corporate republican tools get to replace him... GOP = corporate interests..

    April 4, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |