I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Supreme Court Justice Stevens to retire this summer
John Paul Stevens, often described as the leader of the liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court., announced today that he will retire this summer. Stevens, who will turn 90 on April 20, has served on the Supreme Court for 34 years, since his nomination by President Gerald Ford.
Stevens’ letter to Obama announcing his decisions began, “My dear Mr. President,” and was short and to the point.
Stevens had only hired one clerk for the next term, fueling talk that he would retire this year. Earlier this month, Stevens said that he would “surely” retire in Obama’s term.
For more on Stevens, I recommend this profile by the New Yorker; Stevens rarely granted interviews to the press and media profiles that include Stevens’ speaking are few and far between.
Already, political observers are speculating on who will replace Stevens on the high court. The New York Times writes:
The White House has been quietly evaluating potential nominees for months. Among those rumored to be in contention for the nomination are Solicitor General Elena Kagan and several appeals court judges, including Diane Wood and Merrick Garland.
The Washington Post agrees with those frontrunners:
Aides and Democrats close to the process named three people as likely front-runners for the job: Solicitor General Elena Kagan, whom Obama appointed as the first woman to hold the post, and two appellate court judges, Diane P. Wood of Chicago and Merrick B. Garland of Washington.
Senator Arlen Specter, D-Penn., recently said that a Stevens retirement would cause gridlock in the Senate.
This will be the second Supreme Court position that President Barack Obama will fill. Obama chose Sonia Sotomayor to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter and Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate in August of last year.
Here is Stevens’ short retirement letter: