Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to retire?
President Obama looks likely to get another Supreme Court nomination in the next year. From AP-
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has hired fewer law clerks than usual, generating speculation that the leader of the court's liberals will retire next year.
If Stevens does step down, he would give President Barack Obama his second high court opening in two years. Obama chose Justice Sonia Sotomayor for the court when Justice David Souter announced his retirement in May.
Souter's failure to hire clerks was the first signal that he was contemplating leaving the court.
Stevens, 89, joined the court in 1975 and is the second-oldest justice in the court's history, after Oliver Wendell Holmes. He is the seventh-longest-serving justice, with more than 33 years and eight months on the court.
Stevens when asked by Associated Press, did confirm that he has only hired one law clerk. Retired Supreme Court Justices are allowed one clerk. Active justices can have up to four.
Is too much being made of Stevens clerk selection process?
But one former clerk, University of Oklahoma law professor Joseph Thai, said he takes it as a sign that Stevens is likely to retire soon.
"It seems to indicate that he probably won't go beyond the current term," Thai said, cautioning that Stevens has said nothing to him about leaving
. I don't think so. In light of Stevens age, I think he is about to retire. He was nominated to the Court in 1975 by President Gerald Ford and will turn 90 years old very soon.
Stevens has been considered a liberal member of the court, but that isn't exactly correct. His decisions have been known to be idiosyncratic over the years more than anything else. Still a replacement chosen by President Obama isn't likely to swing the court to the left.
Labels: Supreme Court