Stevens Will Decide Soon Whether To Retire; Kagan May Succeed Him


Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will decide in early April whether to retire when the court ends its current term in June, says Jeffrey Toobin in the New Yorker. Speaking later to National Public Radio, Toobin predicted that U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, former dean of Harvard Law School, will be named by President Obama to replace Stevens.

In an interview, Stevens says “there are are a lot” of recent Supreme Court rulings “I'm very unhappy with,” starting with the 2008 case that declared an individual right to bear firearms. In some respects, Toobin writes, “Stevens comes from another world; in a recent opinion, he noted that contemporary views on marijuana laws were ‘reminiscent of the opinion that supported the nationwide ban on alcohol consumption when I was a student.’ ” One point of agreement between Stevens and Chief Justice John Roberts: the court need not attend the president’s State of the Union address.

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