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by: Abassos • March 14, 2010 • no comments

Excellent article on Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in the New Yorker. Several facts I didn't know before I read the article:

Stevens only hired one clerk, instead of the usual four, for next year. A key signal that he plans on retiring. On the other hand, he also received a commitment from 3 of his clerks from the previous year that they would stay on if he decided not to retire quite yet. So his options are open. He tells Jeffrey Toobin, the author of the article, that he'll make the decision in the next month.

As the senior justice of the Supreme Court, he assigns opinions when the chief justice isn't in the majority. That has made him the de facto chief justice of the left wing of the Court. It seems he sees himself that way as well. He's really pissed about a slew of decisions in the past few years. But he's especially mad about the Citizens United decision that has caused a kerfluffle between Chief Justice Roberts and the White House.

Stevens was at Wrigley field for the world series game where Babe Ruth pointed to center field with his bat and then proceeded to hit a home run into the center field stands. Justice Stevens is old. Which, I guess, is probably why he's retiring soon.

Postscript:

Here's Jeffrey Toobin talking about his article on NPR.