Breaking: Supreme Court Justice Stevens to retire

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for breaking.jpgFrom the Associated Press, moments ago:

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the court's oldest member and leader of its liberal bloc, says he is retiring. President Barack Obama now has his second high court opening to fill....

Stevens says he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July.

His announcement Friday in Washington had been hinted at for months. It comes 11 days before his 90th birthday.

Stevens began signaling a possible retirement last summer when he hired just 1 of his usual complement of four law clerks for the next court term. He acknowledged in several interviews that he was contemplating stepping down and would certainly do so during Obama's presidency.

The timing of his announcement leaves ample time for the White House to settle on a successor and Senate Democrats, who control 59 votes, to conduct confirmation hearings and a vote. Republicans have not ruled out an attempt to delay confirmation.

The leading candidates to replace Stevens are Solicitor General Elena Kagan, 49, and federal appellate Judges Merrick Garland, 57, and Diane Wood, 59.

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.


Comments:

Here's some background on Kagan, Wood, and some of the more obscure possibilities: http://blog.secularprolife.org/2010/04/justice-stevens-to-retire-during-obama.html

Posted by: Kelsey at April 9, 2010 9:44 AM


This sneaky old basterd hung on long enough so another pro-abort liberal could take his seat. He should've retired a long time ago. Creep. Good riddance.

Posted by: Jasper at April 9, 2010 11:01 AM


God bless you, Justice Stevens, for your decades of being a staunch defender of a woman's right to choose.

Posted by: Anne at April 9, 2010 11:20 AM


Anne added:
... a staunch defender of a woman's right to choose.

Right to choose what? Women have the right to choose many things, including (but not limited to): career, education, marriage, property, and favorite flavor of ice cream. Which choice did Justice Stevens defend so staunchly?

...

Yes, I do actually know what you meant by "a woman's right to choose." You meant abortion. Here's my point: If you mean abortion, say abortion. The "right to choose" lingo is overly-vague saccharine nonsense. It's a collection of words to don't mean anything, language without meaning.

By the way, pro-lifers don't oppose women's right to make legitimate, reasonable choices. "Choice" is not the issue here. Killing is the issue. Nobody should have the "right to choose" to kill an innocent, defenseless human being. That choice is neither legitimate nor reasonable.

What is the unborn? If the unborn are not human beings, then "a woman's right to choose" needs no defense. Abortion would be no more controversial than an appendectomy....

Posted by: Naaman at April 9, 2010 11:35 AM


"Right to choose what? Women have the right to choose many things, including (but not limited to): career, education, marriage, property, and favorite flavor of ice cream. Which choice did Justice Stevens defend so staunchly?"

The right to a woman's choice to choose these things is not under attack. The right to abortion is.

You're quibbling over semantics. I could just as easily flip this around and ask you why you call yourself "pro-life" when clearly you don't mean you support the life of terrorists and mass murderers (or do you?). Why doesn't your side use the more descriptive term of "anti-abortion rights"? Could it be that you are purposely sugar-coating your own position here because the vast majority of people would reject your true agenda of banning abortion in all or most circumstances?

Posted by: Anne at April 9, 2010 11:51 AM



This sneaky old basterd hung on long enough so another pro-abort liberal could take his seat. He should've retired a long time ago. Creep. Good riddance.
Posted by: Jasper at April 9, 2010 11:01 AM

When do you think Justices Roberts, Alito, and Scalia should retire?

Posted by: Hal at April 9, 2010 11:54 AM


pro-choice = pro-abortion

A Catholic Sister just this morning retracted her comments that made pro-choice not seem like pro-abortion regarding Obama.

Remember what people are advocating - would you say that a man has a right to choose to beat his wife? NO. Would a person be correct in choosing slavery? NO. Would it be ok for a parent to beat or kill their child? NO.

With the same humanity we need to say NO to pro-choice, since at its heart it is pro-abortion.

abortion = death of the baby and wounding of the mom

Posted by: joyfromIllinois at April 9, 2010 11:55 AM


John Paul Stevens spent 35 long years on the Court helping to destroy the lives of tens of millions of human beings who were living their lives as he did 90 years ago. We will not miss this morally depraved political criminal. Good riddance.

Unfortunately, "President" Barack Obama will "appoint" someone who will be every bit as horrible (maybe we can look forward to someone even worse; don't laugh, with Barack Obama it is possible).

I happen to believe that Barack Obama is the "President", not the President, because I do not believe he is a natural born citizen and a lawful legitimate President. He certainly has not released ANY records which would prove, one way or the other, whether he is constitutionally eligible to occupy the White House.

If he can ever be required to do this, I believe that he will be exposed as a fraud (I don't absolutely know this, but I believe it to be true). It would be an enormous scandal and he would become the Democratic Party's Richard Nixon.

Additionally, every Supreme Court "appointment" he has "made" would be declared null and void, as well as all other judicial and Cabinet "appointments". All the legislation he has "signed", the "executive orders" he has "signed" and everything else he has "done" would have to be voided. Thus, the unconstitutional socialized medicine scam would have to be struck down. You begin to see the implications IF it can be shown he is not eligible to be President.

If I were the abortionists I would be very worried. They have hitched their wagon to someone who may end up going down and taking them down with him, along with all of their executive, legislative and judicial "accomplishments".

Posted by: Joe at April 9, 2010 11:57 AM


Posted by: Joe at April 9, 2010 11:57 AM

Are the streets paved with chocolate in the fantasy world that you live in? Does it rain skittles? Does every animal have a marshmallow filling?

Posted by: Anne at April 9, 2010 12:06 PM


"When do you think Justices Roberts, Alito, and Scalia should retire?"

when they reach 80, they should retire.

Posted by: Jasper at April 9, 2010 12:10 PM


"I could just as easily flip this around and ask you why you call yourself "pro-life" when clearly you don't mean you support the life of terrorists and mass murderers (or do you?)."

No, I don't support the life of terrorists and mass murderers, I support their execution. That is pro-life.

Posted by: Jasper at April 9, 2010 12:13 PM


Posted by: Jasper at April 9, 2010 12:10 PM

Antonin Scalia will turn 80 in March 2016; the final year of Barack Obama's presidency. I'd be as delighted as anyone if he made a parting gift by granting Obama one last Supreme Court appointment at that time.

Posted by: Anne at April 9, 2010 12:27 PM


I would encourage Anne to embrace the label 'pro-abort'. We pro-aborts to be both explicit and proud of what we support. We support a woman's right to choose what to do with her pregnancy, including terminating it.

I am pro-abortion. And I think Justice Stevens for being a critical vote in re-affirming Roe v. Wade.

Posted by: Dhalgren at April 9, 2010 12:28 PM


"Antonin Scalia will turn 80 in March 2016; the final year of Barack Obama's presidency. I'd be as delighted as anyone if he made a parting gift by granting Obama one last Supreme Court appointment at that time."

Lets make it age 81 for retirement :)

Posted by: Jasper at April 9, 2010 12:32 PM


Dhalgren,
No one should embrace abortion. Not even degreed medical people who are paid for killing the unborn. They should feel shame.

Posted by: Janet at April 9, 2010 12:32 PM


No, Hussain Obama is gone in 2012 anyways..

Posted by: Jasper at April 9, 2010 12:33 PM


Easy fix: term limits.

Posted by: Keith at April 9, 2010 2:18 PM


No, Hussain Obama is gone in 2012 anyways..
Posted by: Jasper at April 9, 2010 12:33 PM


Jasper, I was absolutely certain we would never elect GWB for a second term. I couldn't imagine such a thing. Of course, I was wrong. Blinded by my own biases. Just a thought to keep in mind.

Posted by: Hal at April 9, 2010 2:40 PM


As I read the NYT piece> about the psychology behind pilots' comments during an airstrike, I couldn't help but think of Dhalgren's and other proabort comments as I read:

In recent days, many veterans have made the point that fighters cannot do their jobs without creating psychological distance from the enemy. One reason that the soldiers seemed as if they were playing a video game is that, in a morbid but necessary sense, they were.

“You don’t want combat soldiers to be foolish or to jump the gun, but their job is to destroy the enemy, and one way they’re able to do that is to see it as a game, so that the people don’t seem real,” said Bret A. Moore, a former Army psychologist...

Except, of course, abortionists' war is on the unborn who are not carrying anything that could be perceived as a weapon. Just some major parallels that struck me.

Oh, and Anne? PRO-LIFE means more than just opposition to dismembering the preborn in utero, it also means belief in the sanctity of life for all, to include other vulnerable population groups like the disabled or the elderly.

Posted by: klynn73 at April 9, 2010 2:59 PM


Lets make it age 81 for retirement :)
Posted by: Jasper at April 9, 2010 12:32 PM

Wouldn't that make him a "sneaky old basterd?"

Posted by: Hal at April 9, 2010 3:52 PM


Anne:

There are a lot of questions and a lot of doubt about Obama's citizenship status. He has NEVER done anything to try to put this issue to rest once and for all, except to place a false Certification Of Live Birth (not a Birth Certificate) online.

Why doesn't he just release his records and settle this thing?

Why do some many people maintain that Obama is above the law and does not have to prove his eligibility?

All we are saying is prove you are qualified for the office you hold.

Posted by: Joe at April 9, 2010 4:13 PM


Joe, with all due respect, the birthed nonsense has got to stop.

Like you, I have a profound dislike for Obama's policies and (lack of) character. I am especially concerned by his blatant disregard for the will of the people who elected him and the ruthless machinations he has used to achieve his will. Barack Obama has shown himself to be the most imperial President since Nixon, and that's saying quite a lot.

That said, we need to focus our efforts on those areas where we have a decent chance of persuading the "middle ground" to support us against Obama and his agenda. The tremendous overreach of government, the quickly-escalating national debt, and Obama's blatant thuggery & dishonesty in pursuit of his agenda are all arguments that will reach people. Arguing about birth certificates will just cause people to dismiss us as kooks.

Conservatives are the insurgency. We have to fight against a liberal government, a liberal media, and liberal elites to make our case. We don't have the time to waste on bad arguments, so let's stick to the strong points.

Posted by: Naaman at April 9, 2010 4:59 PM


Naaman:

No. We will not relent.

The arguments I made were, I believe, sound and you did not respond to anything I said. You simply called the arguments "bad" without any basis.

I said he has NOT proved his eligibility. Can you cite evidence that he has?

I said he should prove his eligibility. Do you believe that high public officials do NOT have to follow the Constitution and prove their legal eligibility for office?

I realize that if you attempt to follow the truth everywhere you believe it leads, many people will think you are a "kook". That doesn't make it so, but the weaknesses of human nature cause people to think this way.

If he is ineligible, as I believe, then it is a big deal. IF he is ineligible AND IF it is exposed then we will be able to wipe out the whole abortionist/statist agenda in one blow. It is worth having at least a few people looking into the matter, don't you think?

Posted by: Joe at April 9, 2010 5:31 PM


Joe, keep up the good fight. The country is really looking for the kind of controversy you're advocating. Really. No need to get along and enjoy the recovery. Mix things up a bit. Take down the elected president of the USA. Sounds like a good time. No one will call you crazy or a sore loser.

Posted by: Hal at April 9, 2010 8:33 PM


Classic name-calling. Instead of dealing with the message, attack the messenger. Joe's absolutely right & more than half a million Americans signed a petition urging the matter to be heard instead of thrown out time and time again. Those people only represent the ones more concerned with the legitimate eligibility questions than the repercussions of getting on a watch list*. But we are talking about people who pretend millions of people lining the streets of Washington are "fringe groups". The issue is relevant to the pro-life movement as it pertains to this monstrosity of a "healthcare" bill, the Mexico City policy, etc.

Joe, did you see the NPR archive listing him as Kenyan-born with the interview about the 'son of Africa'?

*I saw a bumper sticker at the gym yesterday that had an official-looking seal and the words: DHS Certified Right-Wing Extremist :D

Posted by: klynn73 at April 9, 2010 9:34 PM


I hate to harp on this and be called "crazy", but I really do think he is ineligible and I think it has to be pursued whether we like it or not.

I did not know about the NPR piece. Thank you.

I am under the impression that he all but admitted his ineligibility during a debate with Alan Keyes for the Illinois Senate seat in 2004.

This whole controversy creates an interesting study in human psychology. There is no question that you must require any candidate for high office to prove that they fulfill the requirements for the position. This is why they are called "requirements".

Yet there are people who think that one is "crazy" or a "kook" for simply following the requirements of logic. Baffling.

Posted by: Joe at April 10, 2010 9:56 AM


"God bless you, Justice Stevens, for your decades of being a staunch defender of a woman's right to choose."

Wait a minute, hang on. I thought the God of Anne was a neutral figure who didn't find anything good or bad or bestow any blessings?

"No need to get along and enjoy the recovery."

*starts laughing* WHAT recovery?

Posted by: Marauder at April 10, 2010 11:28 AM


Pro Choice doesn't mean Pro Abortion, it means pro access to abortion, plan b, birth control pills, and the rest of the full range of birth control options available today. I am Pro Choice - I may never have an abortion, but I value the access to one, because I am Pro Women, and Pro Women's Lives --- Which makes me Pro Life. I hate the anti-choice theft of that term.

Posted by: Shayna at April 10, 2010 2:26 PM


This is going to get scary as you know Obama is going to put a hyper liberal in the place of this liberal.

Posted by: abortion pros and cons at April 11, 2010 9:24 AM


You know, whether Obama is eligible or not, the big problem is in how he has handled this.

People forget that the original "birthers" were Democrats. They insisted that McCain was ineligible to run for the Presidency. They insisted he must provide the appropriate documents to prove eligibility. He provided precisely what was asked for quickly and without quibbling about whether he should "have" to do so. That's one of the reasons this incident was forgotten... it was handled appropriately and shown to be without merit.

Now we have a President who refuses to do the easy thing and simply provide the paperwork requested. In fact, all of his personal records are completely sealed off. That's at best incredibly stupid because it is what is keeping the "birther" movement alive.

It is Obama's refusal to do so that is the problem, not the fact that he was requested to do so. McCain faced the exact same request and handled it just fine.

Posted by: Elisabeth at April 11, 2010 1:36 PM


That's at best incredibly stupid because it is what is keeping the "birther" movement alive. Posted by: Elisabeth at April 11, 2010 1:36 PM

Or very shrewd if you want the media to portray your opponents as loons.

It also diverts attention from the other eligibility issue. By his own admission, Obama was born a British subject. While he may be a native-born US citizen, it doesn't mean he meets criteria for natural-born US citizen.

Posted by: Fed Up at April 11, 2010 2:06 PM


Well, yes, that's why I said "at best", because any other interpretation is definitely worse!

Posted by: Elisabeth at April 11, 2010 2:33 PM


that's why I said "at best"

Missed those 2 little words, sorry :)

Posted by: Fed Up at April 11, 2010 2:52 PM


LOL, no problem. We're getting ready to move, and I'm trying to figure out how to pack a household of 9 people into a 6 x 12 Uhaul.... sigh.... so I had to go back and make sure I actually WROTE those 2 little words! LOL

Posted by: Elisabeth at April 11, 2010 6:02 PM