A First for Stevens: Feeling Tired on the Bench

Says he's close to making a retirement decision
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2010 4:02 PM CDT
Associate Justice John Paul Stevens sits for a new group photograph, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, at the Supreme Court in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – John Paul Stevens still hasn't decided whether he's going to retire from the Supreme Court, but he admits a "novel experience" to the New York Times—feeling tired on the bench. It came during the huge decision on corporate political donations in January, when Stevens, who turns 90 this month, faltered while reading his dissent from the bench.

“I did stumble in my oral statement," he tells Adam Liptak in an interview. "I had been up early that morning writing that statement out, and I had played tennis that morning. Maybe I was tired, and of course I felt strongly about it, but that has never affected my ability to articulate orally what I wanted to say before." Stevens seems to be leaning toward retirement and will decide soon. “I do have to fish or cut bait, just for my own personal peace of mind and also in fairness to the process.”

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