The Talking Lion

Sunday, May 29, 2005

John Paul Stevens just refuses to die

So, fresh from the AP wire this morning, a story about how the Bush administration is narrowing its list for a Rhenquist's replacement, who's retirement, it seems, is imminent.

Of course, the retirement of the third-most conservative judge on the court won't do much to change the political makeup of the court, other than the possibility of Bush appointing someone so far to the right that he/she makes Antonin Scalia look like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Speaking of RBG, the story also mentions how Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor are both in their 70's and John Paul Stevens is 85 years old. He's been on the bench for THIRTY YEARS! The man was a Ford appointee and he's one of the most liberal members of the court and he REFUSES TO DIE.

Bush is the only president in a long-ass time not to get to appoint a member of the court. During the 2000 election, most pundits took it as a given that the winner of the Bush-Gore battle would likely appoint at least one Justice. This has to irk Bush and the conservative community to no end. It's the last branch of remaining that hasn't been completely taken over by the right. And they want it. Bad. The moderate/liberal five of Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens and O'Conner has allowed the Court some ridiculously radical decisions, like striking down sodomy laws, for example, and conservatives have had enough.

This is why I think John Paul Stevens is so bad ass. He's by far the oldest on the court and, since 1994, has been considered to be the most likely to retire or die and leave an opening. It's no wonder this guy is still going strong, the fact that everyone else is writing him off is giving him plenty of motivation to keep it all together.

I'd suggest the progressive community focus their efforts on keeping this guy alive long enough to survive the Bush presidency, but I really don't think he needs any extra help. Stevens is going to stick around as long as he wants to, damn it. And Bush can't do a thing about it...


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