“We cannot replace Justice Stevens’ experience or wisdom,” Obama said, according to the Associated Press.“I’ll seek someone in the coming weeks with similar qualities: an independent mind, a record of excellence and integrity, a fierce dedication to the rule of law and a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people. It will also be someone who, like Justice Stevens, knows that in democracy powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens.”
Stevens is slated to retire when the court breaks for a summer recess either in late June or early July. The high court will reconvene in October. Democrats are hoping with their 59-vote majority in the U.S. Senate, the confirmation process of an expected liberal-leaning nominee can be completed prior to this fall. Republicans, however, have not ruled out attempts at delaying the process, the AP reports.
According to reports, the leading candidates to replace Stevens are Solicitor General Elena Kagan, and federal appellate judges Merrick Garland (Washington) and Diane Wood (Chicago).