It's official: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will retire from the Court, according to a statement released today by Chief Justice John Roberts.
In the statement, Roberts praised Stevens, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on April 20 this year. Here's the statement in its entirety:
Associate Justice John Paul Stevens has earned the gratitude and admiration of the American people for his nearly 40 years of distinguished service to the Judiciary, including more than 34 years on the Supreme Court. He has enriched the lives of everyone at the Court through his intellect, independence, and warm grace. We have all been blessed to have John as our colleague and his wife Maryan as our friend. We will miss John's presence in our daily work, but will take joy in his and Maryan's continued friendship in the years ahead.
This verifies what almost everyone knew was coming, since Stevens hinted that he would retire to The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin in an article published in the magazine's March 22 edition. The justice had sent a signal to the Obama administration last year, hiring only one clerk for his chambers.
Speculation over Stevens's replacement had already begun, as had debate over whether President Obama would look to make a splash with his choice--whether he would pick a "fight" with Republicans by nominating an outspoken liberal, or a candidate with a stated preference for expansionist interpretation of the Constitution. Here at The Atlantic, Marc reported earlier this week that Obama probably wouldn't make a controversial pick.