After Stevens: What's Next? Expect a fierce battle for liberal justice's replacement By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Apr 9, 2010 1:07 PM CDT 5 comments Comments The Supreme Court is seen in Washington, Friday, April 9, 2010 in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Newser) – What will John Paul Stevens’ retirement mean for the Supreme Court? Here are three early thoughts on what comes next: Expect the tea partiers to get extremely riled up over whoever President Obama nominates, writes Chris Good of the Atlantic . They have a “very strict (one could almost say fundamentalist)” take on the Constitution, and they’re itching for a post-health care fight. But EJ Dionne of the Washington Post knows three of the four judges Obama is said to be considering, and calling any of them extreme would be “absurd.” He's like to see the most liberal candidate nominated; it would fire up the base and challenge the right’s dominance on legal issues. This retirement will change the court much more than David Souter’s, writes Lee Ross of Fox News. Anthony Kennedy will have a lot more power. Expect him to side with the liberals more often, because if John Roberts and Antonin Scalia are in the minority, he gets to assign the opinion.