Justice John Paul Stevens, 89, hinted at retirement this weekend in an interview with the Washington Post. The Supreme Court justice said that he’d make the decision within the next 30 day. And within 24 hours of his declaration, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate stated his party would not rule out blocking a successor.
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. warned President Obama about nominating anyone “overly ideological” to replace Stevens. He told “Fox News Sunday,”
“I think the president will nominate a qualified person. I hope, however, he does not nominate an overly ideological person. That will be the test. And if he doesn’t nominate someone who is overly ideological, I don’t think — you may see Republicans voting against the nominee, but I don’t think you’ll see them engage in a filibuster.”
Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) disagreed with Kyl and told “Fox News Sunday” that he hoped Justice Stevens holds off his retirement for another year.
“I think the gridlock in the Senate might well produce a filibuster, which would tie up the Senate on a Supreme Court nominee. I think if a year passes there’s a much better chance we can come to a consensus.”
Should Stevens choose to retire, it would potentially hand President Obama his second opportunity to seat a nominee on the Supreme Court.