Friday, April 9, 2010

The Stevens Retirement

Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. Not a big surprise, as he's about to turn ninety, and has been on the court for 34 years.
This is a big reminder why presidential elections matter. As this will be the second Supreme Court appointment of this presidential term, imagine what the alternative might have been. If St. Sleazy McCain were in the White House, we would be looking at the "Extreme Court" for decades to come. Regardless of how you feel about Obama on other issues, at least his court nominees will likely maintain some moderation on the bench.
Stevens is considered a "liberal" giant (though he's actually very moderate, he looks liberal when compared to the conservative extremists beside him), and no new justice will be able to match his stature for many years. The court will still be dominated by the five conservatives, and the current congressional split guarantees that Obama's nominee wont be very 'liberal' in order to get confirmation.
Regardless of who Obama chooses, the political circus will be awash with overheated rhetoric. Expect a very loud, tough fight.

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