Justice Stevens WILL Retire
This morning, Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will be retiring from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term. He sent a simple letter, with today's date, to President Obama:
My dear Mr. President:
Having concluded that it would be in the best interests of the Court to have my successor appointed and confirmed well in advance of the commencement of the Court's next Term, I shall retire from regular active service as an Associate Justice, under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 371(b), effective the next day after the Court rises for the summer recess this year.
Most respectfully yours,
Justice Stevens has served on the court since 1975, through four decades, 7 Presidents, and countless changes in the American social and political landscape. In this time, he has had a major impact on federal jurisprudence, crafting thoughtful opinions and guiding the Court's liberal voting bloc. His wisdom, temperament, and leadership will certainly be missed.
Said Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee,
"Justice Stevens' unique and enduring perspective is irreplaceable; his stalwart adherence to the rule of law is unparalleled. The federal judiciary, and indeed the entire nation, will miss his principled jurisprudence. While it is with a heavy heart, I wish him the best in his retirement."
We look forward learning whom President Obama will nominate to fill the vacant seat. A seat on the Supreme Court gives its occupant nearly unparalleled influence over every aspect of American life. And as a lifetime appointee, a Justice's power lasts throughout his or her potentially decades-long term, and beyond. For both of those reasons, every American has a responsibility to let their Senators know how they feel about the nominee. We at the RAC are also excited to learn about the nominee and help the Senate fulfill its Constitutional and historic role of "advise and consent."