Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement at the end of June today. Stevens who turns 90 this month, wrote a simple letter to President Obama announcing his retirement at the end of his term.
According to the Washington Post, Stevens made the announcement now “so that the president would have time to make a nomination and the Senate to confirm in time for the start of the court’s new term next October.”
Justice Stevens began his tenure with the Supreme Court in 1975 as a Former President Gerald Ford appointee. He has served under 7 presidential administrations.
The Washington Post writes,
Aides and Democrats close to the process name three people as likely frontrunners for the job: Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who Obama made the first woman to hold that post, and two appellate court judges, Diane Wood of Chicago and Merrick Garland of Washington.
This will be the second opportunity President Obama will have to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The first nomination was Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who replaced Justice David Souter.