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He's been -- Supreme Court justice since 1975.
Today the top court's oldest and longest serving current member justice John Paul Stevens announced he is retiring.
And you know what that means another high stakes political battle the -- to fill his soon to be empty seat.
Stevens is the leader of the supreme court's liberal bloc and President Obama is almost certain to dominate another liberal to take -- place.
Though when he was put in there the word from the then president Ford was that he wanted somebody with the best judicial mind.
And he came up with John Paul Stevens president -- -- Republican and now.
President Obama says he wants some put someone very similar according to at least one report the president's -- about ten people as potential nominees.
I view the process of selecting a Supreme Court nominee is among my most serious responsibilities as president.
And while we cannot replace Justice Stevens -- experience.
Or wisdom Howell six someone in the coming weeks with some or similar qualities.
Okay you know this is obviously going to be a political battle you know some Republicans almost certainly fight the president tooth and nail over whoever the nominee is.
In fact we only have to look back to last year when the president nominated justice Sonia Sotomayor.
-- this now from Washington FOX News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace in the -- block two minutes into the program Chris Wallace you know it's a big day in Washington.
Where does this go.
Well I haven't obviously -- it's gonna depend on who the president chooses -- can have a fight if he wants it.
Or you can get someone threw pretty easily like Sonia Sotomayor.
If he so chooses that the trade name is the conventional wisdom that lays.
Is -- the president will look for us to the people who were the also ran from the top of the also ran -- short list.
In the song in my -- nomination.
That would be the solicitor general Elena Kagan.
And to the Circuit Court judges Diane Wood from Chicago.
The Washington Circuit Court you see their Elena Kagan.
She was a former dean of Harvard law -- solicitor general.
Change might cause more of a -- Diane what it quite liberal and has expressed some positions.
On abortion issues.
But on the other hand she had a pretty collegial relationship with two quite conservative.
Judges on the Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
Diane what house and that would be Frank Easterbrook and Richard Posner so if you might not be too incendiary.
Merrick Garland who worked in the Clinton.
Justice Department and help in the prosecution.
Of Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing and also the unabomber would probably be the easiest one for.
Republicans to swallow on the other hand there are a lot of liberals that site -- we've got a big majority 59 seats.
We may not have that again probably won't happen after November if we're gonna go for a True Blue liberal to take on Antonin Scalia.
Now's the time to do.
You know looking back -- This it was he is this justices.
To us there confirmation hearings.
-- -- last ones they weren't televised.
You know abortion never even came up.
Even though the ruling had just been made it was seen as.
Leaving politics at the door at the time and good grief how things have changed.
Well I have to say I didn't know that until James Rosen -- pointed it out it's amazing that was 1975.
As you say two years.
After Roe vs.
Wade abortion you -- say that's a good thing or about then but it didn't even come up.
And he was confirmed 98 to nothing all that changed in 1986.
-- the confirmation battle over.
Robert Bork the Reagan appointee the Democrats really vilify them that Ted Kennedy went to the floor the day of the nomination and said.
If he is confirmed to the court it will bring back the day a back Alley abortions in segregation and a bunch of terrible things.
And that really started the politicization.
Of court -- It and who knew that this -- -- you know you know judge.
President Ford didn't want to nominate a liberal certainly not the leader of the liberals at least -- and -- that's not how this man started out at all I guess the widespread thinking at the time was.
That he would be if leaning one way or the other would certainly be to the right.
Well that's right but there have been some surprises over the years merely.
That -- -- and and and justice Stephens full warrant Eisenhower's pick.
In the 1950s -- -- -- the Chief Justice of the perhaps most liberal court the Warren court and -- always said it was the biggest damn mistake he ever made Clinton and then George HW bush would David Souter is so.
Sometimes presidents appoint and remember it's a lifetime appointments of you make a mistake it's a big mistake.
That last long after you're out of the White House.
Yet that they -- as president for his city's legacy can stand on this one.
This one appointment that -- -- it was one of which he seemed pretty proud when he gave an interview back in 2000.
-- -- because Jerry Ford's positions changed and and interestingly enough Steven says that even his.
Conservative principles of the same as they were in 1975 a lot of people here in Washington would disagree on that he says he's stayed the same it just that the court moved to the right.
Well in any case he ended up and one of the reasons this is so important -- about the president's -- appoint a liberal to replace a liberal.
But but there are certain justices who are dealmakers who were able to get people across the aisle and Stephens was a really good politician on the court.
As the -- some conservatives have been in his ability to reach out to moderates like Sandra Day O'Connor or now Anthony Kennedy.
And get them to be the swing fifth vote to side with them against the other side so.
So little -- him even if there's another liberal on the court it will not be another John Paul Stevens.
Well you know all I can think about right now is my weekend activity before we get the important stuff is going to be the masters and then there's going to be FOX News Sunday.
Chris Wallace and FOX News Sunday your local fox station I can't wait to watch this -- -- -- welcome welcome that.
Connecticut independent senator if you will Joe Lieberman in the Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander.
And you'd better believe the upcoming Supreme Court nomination will be part of the discussion but that's not all.
Minnesota Republican congresswoman Michelle Bachmann is also on this Sunday.
The topic their president Obama's agenda as well as the Tea Party that's this Sunday on FOX News Sunday.
On your local fox -- state of -- local Fox Broadcast station down the dial.
It's all -- this was probably the lowest numbered fox and you'll find Chris their -- Bright and early on Sunday morning remember you can always visit foxnews.com.
Our producers and correspondents are constantly adding stories to the Justice Stevens story.
Who will the president nominate what will the court look like in the future if your political junkie it's all there for you.
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