Justice Stevens Discusses His Retirement Plan

Justice John Paul Stevens, who turns 90 on April 20, discusses his retirement plans in a New Yorker interview with Jeffrey Toobin. He says he's keeping his options open and will decide in about a month.

Sounds like he's planning a retirement announcement for his birthday. But he cautions against reading too much into his decision to hire only one law clerk. His other three clerks offered to stay with him. So he only needs one new clerk.

If he retires, then what? Will Obama name a safe choice to avoid a confirmation battle? Or will he show some spunk and name a true progressive?

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    Obama (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 03:43:20 PM EST
    Will appoint a safe choice - he has to appease the Republicans, doncha know. !) Obama is not really progressive by nature - he's much more cautious and needs much more to be a facilitator rather than a firebrand.  He is more concerned with playing nice, than staking out a position. 2)
    If Stevens doesn't retire this year, it's only going to be harder for Obama as Republicans get more seats in the Senate (I mean hey, they could barely pass anything with 60 votes - imagine what he could do with 53 or 54!)

    And in keeping with the theme of the Supremes, here's a fun list of the Supreme spouses and their vocations.

    yep (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by souvarine on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 03:57:30 PM EST
    The idea that Obama would appoint a "true progressive" is premised on the fantasy that Obama is a progressive.

    Obama will look for someone who won't re-litigate the culture wars. Probably a very smart, appealing candidate like Sotomayor who will largely acquiesce to the rightward drift of the modern court.


    Toobin predicted Elena Kagan ... (none / 0) (#5)
    by cymro on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 04:03:01 PM EST
    ... during an interview with Terry Gross today on NPR's "All Things Considered". See last paragraph of How High Court Could Change If Stevens Retires.

    Wikipedia article on Elena Kagan


    Stevens says: (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 03:44:19 PM EST
    ". . .I will retire within the next three years. I'm sure of that."

    Of course he is (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 03:46:20 PM EST
    The world is ending December 21, 2012 - I'm sure he'll want to get a vacation in before then!

    Lewis Powell was not a Republican (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 04:35:23 PM EST
    He was a Southern Democrat.

    Who is still expecting spunk? (none / 0) (#7)
    by sj on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 05:27:07 PM EST

    Markos and Arianna? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 05:29:53 PM EST
    And their readers?

    why not spunk? (none / 0) (#9)
    by diogenes on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 10:32:29 PM EST
    That way 2010 Senate voters will know who will be on the Supreme Court if they elect Democrats