UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JUSTICE STEVENS ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Liberal justice John Paul Stevens has just announced he will step down from the court this summer, likely in June or July. His resignation has been expected, as he has strongly hinted he would resign, having waited for a liberal to take the White House and name his replacement.
Stevens is 89 and soon to be 90.
Stevens is the leader of the liberal faction on the court. The President will surely replace him with a liberal, so the numbers on the court will not change. Stevens, however, was well regarded even by the conservative members and could at times muster a majority, bringing in the swing votes. The new justice will not have that kind of clout at the beginning of his or her term.
Since the President will likely appoint someone relatively young, it does guarantee a long term liberal justice in this position.