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Specter urges Justice Stevens to remain on court

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) said Sunday that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens should stay on the court for another term instead of retiring this spring because Specter is not sure the Senate could confirm a replacement this year.

"I hope to begin a little earlier, that Justice Stevens does not retire this year," Specter said on "Fox News Sunday. "I think the gridlock in the Senate might well produce a filibuster which would tie up the Senate about a Supreme Court nominee. I think if a year passes, there's a much better chance we could come to a consensus."

Specter's comments came on a day in which Stevens,who will turn 90 later this month, was quoted in both the New York Times and Washington Post on his retirement deliberations. He told the Post's Robert Barnes, "I can tell you that I love the job, and deciding whether to leave it is a very difficult decision. But I want to make it in a way that's best for the court."

The justice, who was appointed to the court in 1975, seems aware of the political dynamic of his potential retirement, telling the Times "the president and the Senate need plenty of time to fill a vacancy."

Last year, then-Justice David Souter announced his retirement on May 1. Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to replace him and was confirmed in August, well before the Court started its session in October. And Democrats hold 59 Senate seats in the Senate, meaning all 41 GOP senators would have to band together to filibuster a potential Stevens replacement.

At the same time, Specter, long a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that considers nominees, may have been alluding to an sharply partisan environment on Capitol Hill that might be heightened with a Supreme Court nomination in an election year. Appearing with Specter, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, refused to rule out a GOP filibuster of a possible Stevens' replacement.

"I think the president will nominate a qualified person. I hope, however, he does not nominate an overly ideological person. That will be the test," Kyl said. "And if he doesn't nominate someone who is overly ideological, I don't think -- you may see Republicans voting against the nominee, but I don't think you'll see them engage in a filibuster."

By Post Editor  |  April 4, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Supreme Court  
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Comments

With all due respect to Senator Spector, I don't think it will be any easier to confirm a nominee next year. I don't think the President, with all the things on his plate now, wants to deal with a Supreme Court nomination.

Posted by: danielhancock | April 7, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Undoubtedly the Republicans in the Senate will find fault with anyone Obama might nominate. With their usual paranoia they would even view it as a plot if he were to nominate a well-known conservative.

By blocking an appointment as long as possible, they also would keep the court--at least temporarily--they also would keep the court leaning even more heavily than usual to the right.

Posted by: TomCamfield | April 5, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I nominate Lani Guinier for Supreme Court Justice. The Repulsicans have been appointing right wing ideologues to the Supreme court for at least 3 decades. It time to reverse the damage the Repulsicans have done to the court.

Posted by: MickeyGarcia | April 5, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyouaa | April 5, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

URGENT TO SEN. SPECTER:

This constituent/journalist wants to know whether you are aware of THIS -- and when Congress will investigate the silent microwave torture and extrajudicial, often ideologically motivated, persecution of unjustly "targeted" Americans. The Mid-Atlantic states "centcom" of this multi-agency program is on YOUR turf:

HOMELAND-RUN 'FUSION CENTERS' SILENTLY ASSAULT, TORTURE, IMPAIR, SUBJUGATE U.S. CITIZENS WITH CELL TOWER MICROWAVE WEAPON SYSTEM, FINANCIAL SABOTAGE, 'COMMUNITY WATCH' VIGILANTE DOMESTIC TERRORISM: VETERAN JOURNALIST

* Thousands of Americans slandered as "dissidents" or undesirables, targeted by Bush legacy program for debilitating, cell tower- based precision-targeted microwave//laser assault, held hostage in their homes to fed-supported vigilante "community policing" stalking units equipped with warrantless GPS devices, who vandalize and terrorize as local police look the other way.

* Electromagnetic radio frequency microwave/laser weapon system -- a nationwide installation employing cell towers and satellites -- silently, invisibly induce weakness, exhaustion, mood changes, pain, head and body aches, physical and neurological impairment, strokes, aneurysms, sickness, cancer -- and many victims do not realize what is making them sick.

===== POLITICAL LEADERS MAY BE AMONG TARGETS =====

* Regional Homeland Security- administered "fusion centers" reportedly serve as command centers for covert electromagnetic radiation attacks, pervasive surveillance, financial sabotage of those identified as "dissidents," "trouble-makers" or slandered as threats to society.

* Use of microwave weaponry to torture and impair political opponents recently confirmed by deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya.

* Pleas for justice, to local police and FBI, go unanswered -- as do demands for a Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation and congressional hearings.

"These are crimes against humanity and the Constitution, being perpetrated under the cover of national security and 'safe streets' by multiple federal and local agencies and commands -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight, enabled by the naivete of those who think 'it can't happen here.'" -- Victor Livingston, former reporter for WTXF-TV Philadelphia, Phila. Bulletin, N.Y. Daily News, St. Petersburg Times; producer/host, MSG Network Sports Business Report; columnist, NowPublic.com/scrivener.

www.poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2 (click, "More Reporting and Writing") OR

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves

BUCKS COUNTY, PA- BASED MAGLOCLEN FUSION CENTER -- "Centcom of a Mid-Atlantic States Fed- and Police-Protected American Gestapo."

Why won't FBI Open a D.O.J. / Civil Rights Division investigation?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 5, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

That's rich - the GOP will find any candidate that Obama picks "overly ideological" while totally ignoring that Alito is one of the most ideological justices on the bench.

Still a bunch of hypocrites.

Posted by: reiflame1 | April 4, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

If Obama had any balls he'd appt the most far left candidate he couldfind

Posted by: newagent99 | April 4, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

If Obama had any balls he'd appt the most far left candidate he could.

Posted by: newagent99 | April 4, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

This is rich. Republicans MIGHT filibuster an Obama nominee? Please. We all know they'll filibuster no matter what, even if the nominee is moderate or right-leaning, just like they've tried to shout down all the other Republican-inspired or Repub-invented ideas that Obama has pitched...simply because it was Obama pitching them. The individual insurance mandate is a prime example. It was pure and Constitutional enough when the Republicans first proposed it in the 90s, and now they pitch a fit like it's going to turn the country into the USSR. Laugh Out Loud.

Posted by: jookyg | April 4, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Disingenuous of Senator Kyl, since "Ideological is quite often in the eye of the observer as much as it is in the demeanor of the observed. Specter IS correct that after November is a better time to deal with a Supreme Court nominee, because an economic recovery in full swing and a series of partial victories for the Obama platform might just give Obama a filibuster proof majority with a couple seats to spare. THEN ideological in the eyes of the majority will be entirely a different thing than ideological in the eyes of the current obstructionist minority.

Posted by: ceflynline | April 4, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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