Speculation began to heat up about the retirement plans of Justice John Paul Stevens when he came into the current session of the Supreme Court with just one law clerk – he could have had four. Now the hinting is confirmed — Justice John Paul Stevens is approaching the age of 90, and will soon be stepping down from the high court.
The effective date will be late June or early July.
Stevens, a member of the left-leaning portion of the bench, is thought to be retiring now, not only for personal reasons, but to make sure a Democratic president has a chance to replace him with a similarly-minded justice.
Republicans in the Senate have already signaled a willingness to battle any nominee they find unacceptable, and would filibuster if they find it necessary.
RBR-TVBR observation: President Barack Obama is said to already have a good list of vetted candidates for a Supreme Court post, consisting of candidates considered for the post that eventually went to Sonia Sotomayor. It signals the possibility of an extra political battle over and above the 2010 elections, with interest groups for or against the next nominee possibly spending cash with broadcasters.