Judge John Paul Stevens could be retiring soon, if the reports are accurate. Jeffrey Toobin writes a profile on him in The New Yorker and wonders about what the court would be like without him. I'm sure conservatives are glad to see him go since Gerald Ford picked him.
With the election of Barack Obama, the question of Stevens’s retirement has become more pressing. Even though Stevens was appointed by a Republican President, many assume that he would never willingly have turned his seat over to George W. Bush. I asked Stevens about his plans.
“Well, I still have my options open,” he said. “When I decided to just hire one clerk, three of my four clerks last year said they’d work for me next year if I wanted them to. So I have my options still. And then I’ll have to decide soon.” On March 8th, he told me that he would make up his mind in about a month...read on
In an interview with NPR today, Toobin gave his prediction for an eventual successor to Justice Stevens:
"I think it's going to be Elena Kagan, the current solicitor general and the former dean of Harvard Law School. She has a reputation as a consensus builder. She is someone who brought vigorously fighting factions at Harvard together. She worked in the Clinton administration and had good relationships with Republicans in Congress at the time. She has never been a judge, which I think is a point in her favor for Obama. There are all former judges on the court now, and I think Obama wants people of more different backgrounds. So I think she's the likely choice."
President Obama needs to pick a strong liberal to replace Stevens if and when he leaves and not worry about the media's obsession with bipartisanship. A major reason activists did everything they could to help get him elected was for the Supreme Court. Pick a strong liberal, let the attack dogs do their thing and then let the process play out.