Speculation Suggests Pro-Abortion Justice John Paul Stevens May Leave Court

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 2, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Speculation Suggests Pro-Abortion Justice John Paul Stevens May Leave Court

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 2
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Justice John Paul Stevens could become the next Supreme Court justice to retire if the speculation that has started today is correct. Stevens has hired just one law clerk for an upcoming Supreme Court session, which observers say is an indication he could be considering a retirement bid.

Stevens confirmed through a spokesman today that he will have just one law clerk for the session that begins in October 2010.

Typically, members of the court have four attorneys who work for them whereas retired justices hire only one.

An Associated Press report indicates the spokesman would not confirm whether Stevens would eventually hire the three additional clerks or if he would step down after the next high court term, which begins next month.

Since law clerks are normally hired during the summer months of the year preceding the term in which they will work, Stevens’ move to hire just one is being taken by many political had a notable absence of law clerks before he announced his retirement.

Stevens, who is a member of what pro-life advocates consider a five-member pro-abortion majority, is 89 and second only to Oliver Wendell Holmes in the history books as the oldest justice on the Supreme Court.

Should Stevens announce his retirement, pro-abortion President Barack Obama would have another opportunity to shape the court on the issue of abortion for decades to come.

The Senate recently confirmed new Justice Sonia Sotomayor, whom pro-life advocates expect to replace Souter as a part of the pro-abortion majority on the high court.

Some political analysts say Republicans in the Senate did not mount an aggressive bid against Sotomayor because of her status as the first Hispanic nominee. They suggest that a stronger campaign against a second nominee, especially given Obama’s lower approval ratings, is in the offing.

Conservative writer Ed Morrissey writes about a potential second nomination.

"A Stevens retirement would create a new round of the battle over nominees, but it would once again put Barack Obama on home turf. Stevens has been a reliable liberal vote, perhaps only slightly less than Ruth Bader Ginsburg," he explained.

"His retirement would give the possibility of a rebalancing of the court, and Obama will have to find someone as reliably liberal to prevent that outcome. He doesn’t have much room to gain with a new nomination, and would have to be satisfied with the status quo," he said.

Morrissey agrees that a second nomination could produce more opposition — " especially after Obama’s polling has dropped through the floor in a very short span of weeks this summer."

Yet, he predicts Obama will have an easy time getting a confirmation vote, if only because Democrats have such high numbers in the Senate still.

"Unless the White House vetting team remains comatose through the next nominee, the GOP" will have a tough time derailing a nominee, he says.

He suggests opponents do what they did on Sotomayor: "Don’t get caught up in filibuster threats that they can’t deliver, but focus on the nominee’s record and show where it’s out of step with the American majority, if indeed it is."

Obama will likely nominate someone who will keep the 5-4 pro-abortion majority on the Supreme Court, meaning pro-life advocates will need to replace him with a pro-life president in 2012 to have any chance of getting a court that would consider overturning Roe v. Wade.

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