Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is your newest Supreme Court Retiree Of The United States.
The news comes as a surprise, given that he’s only 89 — a slacker compared to the hardy old-time boys like 91-year-old Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Stevens is probably savvy in his timing. Nate Silver’s blog today speculates on how many House seats the Dems will lose in November — he says 50 or more are possible, and seems to think the Dems will lose at least 3-4 Senate seats. So, good for Stevens for getting out while the Democratic Senate can still confirm a reasonable replacement.
I’m hoping for our first Thai transgender justice — this may be the last chance for a generation! But of course, then it would become the unofficial Asian sex-change seat on the court, and maybe that wouldn’t be so good.
President Obama also surely understands that this is the unofficial justice-whose-name-sounds-a-little-like-a-member-of-Led Zeppelin seat — just as Thurgood Marshall for so many years occupied the unofficial justice-whose-name-sounds-a-little-like-George Thorogood seat.
It goes without saying that Thurgood Marshall’s replacement, Clarence Thomas, was a disaster in that regard. George Bush showed very little respect for precedent there.
I hope we can count on Barack Obama to do better. Pickings are slim, but Ninth Circuit Court Robert R. Beezer has a name that half-matches Robert Plant and sounds just vaguely like “Bonzo” Bonham. He could have the inside track.