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Americas

Liberal justice to retire from Supreme Court

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-09

Justice John Paul Stevens, 89, will resign from the US Supreme Court this summer, giving President Barack Obama the opportunity to make his second appointment to the nine-member bench.

AFP - President Barack Obama Friday vowed to quickly name an advocate for "ordinary citizens" to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, setting off what was expected to be a testy Senate confirmation fight.
   
"I will move quickly to name a nominee," said Obama, speaking from the White House Rose Garden after returning from Prague, hours after Stevens, 89, had announced his impending departure.
   
"While we cannot replace Justice Stevens's experience or wisdom, I will seek someone in the coming weeks with similar qualities," Obama said.
   
The president said the future nominee would have "an independent mind, a record of excellence and integrity, a fierce dedication to the rule of law and a keen understanding how the law effects the daily lives of the American people."
   
And in comments likely to fire up Republican and conservative opposition to whoever he picks, Obama hinted he would seek a nominee who sided more with American people than with the powerful.
   
"It will also be someone who, like Justice Stevens, knows that in a democracy, powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens," Obama said.
   
"I hope the Senate will move quickly in the coming weeks to debate and to confirm my nominee."
   
Conservatives accuse judges of the type that Obama had in mind of being "activists" who are more keen to "legislate from the bench" rather than confining their rulings to the strict implications of the US Constitution.

Date created : 2010-04-09

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