The Blawgosphere is buzzing today with speculation that Justice John Paul Stevens might be getting set to retire. The evidence? Instead of a full complement of clerks, Stevens has thus fired hired only one clerk for the session beginning October, 2010. While hardly conclusive, this was the first sign that Justice Souter was getting set to retire as well.
Stevens is the second oldest justice in the Court’s history, behind only Oliver Wendell Holmes. He has been on the Court since 1975 and although he was appointed by President Ford, he is considered to be the leader of the Court’s liberal wing. If he does retire, it will be the second chance for President Obama to leave his mark on the Court, but it will not create an opportunity to shift the ideological balance.