Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Justice Stevens May Retire Soon, Will Under Obama

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 5, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Justice Stevens May Retire Soon, Will Under Obama

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 5
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Justice John Paul Stevens, one of the five members of the pro-abortion majority on the Supreme Court, said over the weekend that he may retire soon. Stevens also indicated he will definitely retire during the term of President Barack Obama so the abortion advocate can choose his replacement.

Stevens has been the subject of retirement talk for months and that has increased in volume as a previously-mentioned mid-late April date for an announcement draws near.

Although he hasn’t yet announced his intentions, ongoing health issues, advancing age and his decision to hire just one attorney for the Supreme Court’s October session (justices typically hire four) has speculation rampant that he will step down after 35 years on the top bench.

Stevens said in newspaper interviews on Saturday that he "will surely" retire during Obama’s presidency — paving the way for the likelihood that he will be replaced by another abortion advocate who favors keeping Roe v. Wade and its 52 million abortions in place.

"I will surely do it while he’s still president," Stevens told The Washington Post.

Stevens told the newspaper he still enjoys his position as a high court jurist and drafts the first copy of his opinions on his own without the help of legal assistants. He said if he gets to the point he stops writing his own opinions, he will decide it is time to retire.

But in a second interview, Stevens recognized he needs to make a decision for the replacement process to start up in earnest.

"I do have to fish or cut bait, just for my own personal peace of mind and also in fairness to the process," Stevens told The New York Times. "The president and the Senate need plenty of time to fill a vacancy."

Stevens told the New Yorker on March 8 that he would decide within a month — meaning any news about a coming Supreme Court battle is perhaps days away.

Meanwhile, Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill may be wanting Stevens to wait to announce his retirement.

They may be wanting to avoid another bruising political battle so soon after the health care debacle that saw a pro-abortion bill signed into law and has raised the ire of the majority of Americans who oppose it and say they will vote them out in November.

Sen. Arlen Specter, a prominent pro-abortion Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said he worries the "gridlock" over a pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee "might well produce a filibuster."

"If a year passes, there’s a much better chance we could come to a consensus," he said on Fox News Sunday.

Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, a pro-life advocate who is the number two Republican in the Senate, told Fox News he would not rule out a filibuster.

"It will all depend on what kind of a person it is," he said. "I hope he does not nominate an overly ideological person. That will be the test."

Kyl stressed that he didn’t want to see "someone coming in with preconceived attitudes… we’ve had too much of that."

The best pro-life advocates can hope for is retaining the current 5-4 pro-abortion majority which, if a pro-life president is elected and can put another conservative jurist on the court, is one vote away from possibly overturning the pro-abortion precedent.

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.

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