Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Announces Retirement
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, arguably the most liberal member of the court, says he will step down when when the court finishes its work this session, likely late June or early July. Stevens has been hinting for months about leaving the court, and his announcement comes 11 days before his 90th birthday.
Chief Justice John Roberts said in a written statement that Stevens has earned the gratitude and admiration of the American people.
“He has enriched the lives of everyone at the Court through his intellect, independence, and warm grace,” Roberts said.
Stevens, appointed to the court by Gerald Ford, has been an important vote to keep conservatives at bay, often drawing swing votes to his side.
Stevens’ departure will not change the court’s conservative-liberal split because Obama is certain to name a liberal-leaning replacement. But the new justice is not likely to be able to match Stevens’ ability to marshal narrow majorities in big cases.
Stevens was able to draw the support of the court’s swing votes, now-retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Anthony Kennedy, to rein in or block some Bush administration policies, including the detention of suspected terrorists following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, its tilt toward protecting businesses from some lawsuits and its refusal to act against global warming.Click here for reuse options!
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