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U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Stevens Says He’ll Retire—Sometime in the Next Three Years

Posted Mar 15, 2010 6:36 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Justice John Paul Stevens’ decision to hire only one law clerk for next term has been widely interpreted as a signal that he’ll announce his retirement this year.

For his part, Stevens says he will retire—sometime within the next three years. In a New Yorker interview, Stevens said clerks won’t be an issue if he decides to remain on the bench this year. "When I decided to hire just one clerk, three of my four law clerks last year said they would work for me next year if I wanted them to. So I have my options still,” he said. Stevens, who will turn 90 on April 20, said on March 8 that he would make his retirement decision in about a month.

The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times noted the Stevens interview, given after a round of tennis.

The justice told the New Yorker that the court has moved to the right and there are dozens of decisions that make him unhappy, including the gun-rights case District of Columbia v. Heller and the election case Bush v. Gore.

“He wears a hearing aid,” the New Yorker writes, “but walks at an athlete’s loping pace and shakes hands with a punishing grip; he keeps two well-used putters on hand to practice his short game on the office carpet.”

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