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Gird your loins: Justice Stevens announces summer retirement plans

By Michelle Malkin  •  April 9, 2010 10:35 AM

It’s Retirement Friday! On the heels of Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak’s retirement plans, SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens confirms swirling rumors of his upcoming retirement this summer. News breaking on the wires and Twitter. AP:

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 one 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.

The Left is preparing for a “pitched battle.”

Background on Kagan and Wood here.

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