Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to Decide Retirement Soon

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 16, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to Decide Retirement Soon

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 16
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, one of the five members of the pro-abortion majority on the high court, says he will decide next month whether he plans to retire. Stevens is 90 years-old and speculation reached enormous heights that he would retire when he hired just one law clerk for the October 2010 term.

Retiring judges usually have one clerk while sitting Supreme Court members have four.

While Stevens privately scoffed at the retirement rumors, he addressed them in a new interview with the New Yorker.

He told the magazine he may retire this year but said he will definitely retire in the next three years — giving pro-abortion President Barack Obama another chance to shape the high court which has allowed more than 52 million abortions through Roe v. Wade.

“Well, I still have my options open,” Stevens said. “When I decided to just hire one clerk, three of my four clerks last year said they’d work for me next year if I wanted them to. So I have my options still. And then I’ll have to decide soon.”

Stevens declined to tell the New Yorker whether he wants a Republican or Democrat to replace him.

He was appointed by President Gerald Ford, who was pro-abortion despite his status as a Republican, but Stevens is clearly aligned with the left-wing of the court and may want someone of his judicial bent to replace him.

“I have a great admiration for him, and certainly think he’s capable of picking successfully, you know, doing a good job of filling vacancies.” Stevens said of Obama. “You can say I will retire within the next three years. I’m sure of that.”

Justice David Souter retired at the end of last term and Obama replaced him with pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor who won Senate confirmation in a 68-31 vote.

Should Stevens step down, the expectation is that Obama will appoint a pro-abortion justice to replace him who will vote to keep Roe and legalized abortion on demand in place for decades to come.

Last month, CNN indicated the White house has begun "quiet preparations" for a high court vacancy but cautioned that top Obama officials have not named any names of potential Supreme Court retirements.

The latest session of the Supreme Court ends in June and the most likely scenario is that one of the justices would announce a retirement this Spring or Summer so a newly-confirmed replacement can join the court when its next term begins in October.

The machinations on the Supreme Court are of monumental importance to the pro-life community because of the wide-ranging effect the court has to abortion and pro-life issues.

Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also strongly pro-abortion and who is battling advancing age and health issues, are considered the most likely to step down from the Supreme Court in the next year or two.

As far as Ginsburg is concerned, she underwent surgery for early stage pancreatic cancer a year ago but ABC indicated sources closer to her say she has talked about serving on the court for years to come.

During his State of the Union address, Obama criticized a recent Supreme Court decision that some pro-life attorneys and legal experts say could be used as a basis for overturning the 37-year-old pro-abortion precedent in Roe and Doe.

When the next high court justice does retire, Obama’s potential nominee will be scrutinized over their views and rulings on the issue of abortion. And some of the top potential candidates Obama could name are abortion advocates.

Elena Kagan, the president’s solicitor general, is an abortion advocate whom pro-life groups have already assailed.

"In the past Kagan has been a strong supporter of the pro-abortion agenda," Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the pro-life women’s group Susan B. Anthony List, told previously. "She has vigorously opposed the de-funding of taxpayer-funded clinics which promote abortions, despite the fact that a majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars to fund abortion providers."

Judge Diane Wood, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, is a strong abortion advocate.

Wood ruled against bans on partial-birth abortion in cases involving legislation from Wisconsin and Illinois. She joined the federal court in ruling that Wisconsin’s law was unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s first ruling on partial-birth abortions in 2000.

Judge Wood also ruled in favor of abortion advocates by allowing them to misuse the RICO law designed to control mob activities to sue pro-life protesters.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is another potential appointee and she vetoed numerous pro-life bills when she was governor of Arizona.

Leah Ward Sears, former chief of the Georgia Supreme Court and Judge Merrick Garland, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit are other possibilities.

Also, since Obama has already appointed a woman to the court, he could consider a male appointee and not face any political repercussions.

Washington-based federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland and Cass Sunstein, 55, an old law school associate of Obama and head of a key White House agency are considered two possibilities.

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