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Justice Stevens Announces Retirement

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US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has announced he will retire this summer, according to The Associated Press. Stevens' announcement comes just eleven days before his 90th birthday. It's the second opening on the Supreme Court that President Barack Obama must fill.

Stevens said he hopes his successor is confirmed "well in advance of the commencement of the court's next term." The court's session is over in late June or early July. The AP reports that the White House will next settle on a successor to Stevens. Senate Democrats will then conduct confirmation hearings and would likely be able to vote through their candidate.

In this week's Washington Report on WQXR, David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times, said the candidates being considered to take over Stevens' seat are Solicitor General Elena Kagan, and federal appellate judges Merrick Garland and Diane Wood.

"All three would pose particular individual challenges for getting the nomination through," Sanger said. "But each is considered to be fairly centrist."