Stevens says he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July…Benedict Arlen Specter recently worried about Stevens' retirement this year:
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.
SPECTER: I hope [unintelligible] that Justice Stevens does not retire this year. I think the gridlock in the Senate might well produce a filibuster, which will tie up the Senate with the Supreme Court nominee. I think that if a year passes, there is a much better chance we can come to a consensus.The timing for this is brutal for Democrats who already face a tough fight in the midterms in November. Arlen's worrying here for good reason, the last thing Democrats need is a protracted fight in September over a liberal Supreme Court appointee. Liberal talking heads are busy spinning this as threatening to Republicans who can't risk looking more obstructionist than they have been painted by the liberal media and Democrats. I would think it is not going out on a limb to suggest Specter was worrying for a reason that had absolutely nothing to do with the possibility Republicans would appear more obstructionist.
Stay tuned for more developments at Memeorandum
Surely there can't be more retirements on the horizon, right? Wrong, Barney Fwank wants to work for a bank.