September 02, 2009

Is Justice Stevens Signaling His Exit

Like Justice Souter before him, Justice Stevens seems to be hinting at his exit via his clerk hiring.
"Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has hired fewer law clerks than usual, generating speculation that the leader of the court's liberals will retire next year. ...

Souter's failure to hire clerks was the first signal that he was contemplating leaving the court. ...

In response to a question from The Associated Press, Stevens confirmed through a court spokeswoman Tuesday that he has hired only one clerk for the term that begins in October 2010. He is among several justices who typically have hired all four clerks for the following year by now. Information about this advance hiring is not released by the court but is regularly published by some legal blogs.

Stevens did not say whether he plans to hire his full allotment of clerks or whether he will leave the court at the conclusion of the term that begins next month. Retired justices are allowed to hire one clerk."

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