SC Justice, 88, May Break Term Record Under Obama

Liberal Stevens still going full steam
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2008 1:48 AM CDT
Associate Justice John Paul Stevens smiles as he talks with Chief Justice John G. Roberts, right, just before the start of a memorial for late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite )
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The longest-serving Supreme Court justice may defy expectations and stay on the bench even if fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama is elected, the Chicago Tribune writes. Many observers believe that liberal-leaning John Paul Stevens, 88, would choose to step down and let Obama choose his successor. But others think he may stay another four years and become the longest-serving justice in American history—as testament to his devotion to the job, rather than out of pride.

Whether he stays or goes, associates say the Ford-appointed Republican will be glad to outlast the term legitimized by the Bush vs Gore presidential race decision he bitterly opposed. "We may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner," Stevens wrote in 2000, but "the identity of the loser is perfectly clear—the nation's confidence in a judge as an impartial guardian."