Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Stevens Speculation

Deborah Pearlstein

I really did intend to be on vacation this last week, but I wanted to respond at least in some form, FWIW, to all the speculation about Justice Stevens' likely plans. My former co-clerks and I have of course been reading the recent reporting about his plans with interest (see, e.g., here), and it is true that hiring only one clerk (instead of his more typical 3-4) is unusual. I honestly don't know what his plans are, but I would not be surprised if they included retirement in the near term. It's a decision that would of course be understandable. He's served with extraordinary distinction for an extraordinary length of time. For those interested in reading more, UC Davis Law Review recently sponsored a symposium event honoring Justice Stevens and reflecting on the impact of his decisions on questions of equality, liberty, and security (Chevron and the like were certainly addressed by our security panel, but were of course noted throughout). In all events, his retirement will be a sad loss for the Court and the country whenever it comes. Still, I can think of few who deserve some uninterrupted rounds of golf (and tennis and swimming) more.

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