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Tuesday round-up – part one

The retirement of Justice Stevens and speculation over potential nominees and the nomination process itself continue to dominate the news.  In the USA Today, Jonathan Turley reflects on the life, career, and legacy of Justice Stevens, describing his retirement as also “the departure of the last of the court’s ‘greatest generation.’”  In an NPR interview, Stevens biographer Bill Barnhart and U.C. Davis associate dean Vikram Amar similarly discuss the Justice’s career and delve a bit into his personality; Barnhart also discusses his new biography in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.  At CNN, Bill Mears writes that Justice Stevens’ influence on the liberal wing of the Court will be difficult to replicate, regardless of who is eventually nominated; Mears also notes that Stevens’ “willingness to put aside ego and to rule narrowly on hot-button cases — combined with an unmatched cordiality and kindness — earned him quiet power and respect.”   ACSblog summarizes content taken from various blogs that recently addressed the career and legacy of Justice Stevens, while a recap of Stevens-related discussion from the Sunday news shows can be found at the Ninth Justice.

At the Root, Sherilynn Ifill addresses Justice Stevens’ role on the Court and lists what she considers to be “areas of experience or qualities lacking among current justices on the Court” – including experience as a criminal defense lawyer and a state court judge.  The editorial board at the USA Today suggests that the President should consider potential nominees with a “different kind of résumé, someone who could bring fresh perspectives to a bench of career look-alikes.”  In a similar vein, the WSJ Law Blog discusses the question of religious diversity on the Court after the Stevens retirement, which could leave the Court without any Protestant members.  At the L.A. Times, Jonah Goldberg opines that Obama’s “empathy standard” is “simply a Trojan horse for an approach just as abstract as any endorsed by the right.”

On NPR’s Morning Edition, Cokie Roberts suggests that “what we’re going to see is a big fight, no matter who the President names” to replace Justice Stevens.  On the Politico opinion page, William Yeomans discusses the “unprecedented partisan divide” created by the retirement; he urges the President to minimize the threat of a filibuster by nominating a politician who can help to “build majorities” on the Court.    Also at Politico, David Catanese describes the political implications of a Senate confirmation battle, observing that the pending nomination is “serendipitously timed to coincide with the homestretch of the midterm election campaign.” Further discussion on the political pressures in the Senate and the possibility of an bitter partisan nomination process can be found at the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, L.A. Times, and WSJ Law Blog.

The National Journal interviews Senator Ben Cardin about Justice Stevens, the electoral ramifications of a Supreme Court nominee battle, and the qualities he looks for in a Supreme Court justice.  In a separate interview, Senator Amy Klobuchar – often mentioned as a potential nominee – tells the Journal that “I need to stay in my job.”  Senators Dick Durbin and Mitch McConnell also comment separately on important qualities they feel a Supreme Court nominee should have.