After Supreme Court, Stevens Looks Back And Forward
As the Supreme Court opens its annual term Monday, one of its longest-serving members will be absent from the bench for the first time in nearly 35 years.
Justice John Paul Stevens— the longtime leader of the court's liberal wing — has retired, and new Justice Elena Kagan takes his place today. Yet Stevens is as willing to challenge the court's conservatives in retirement as he was on the bench, while still showing affection for his former colleagues.
"I think it's going to be an interesting term," Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan said, "… because we will now see how the liberal bloc deals with the fact that its leader is gone." She added that Kennedy's vote remains the one to get.