Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the court's oldest member and leader of its liberal bloc, he is retiring. President Barack Obama now has his second high court opening to fill.
Stevens said Friday he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July. He said he hopes his successor is confirmed "well in advance of the commencement of the court's next term."
His announcement had been hinted at for months. It comes 11 days before his 90th birthday.
Stevens began signaling a possible retirement last summer when he hired just one of his usual complement of four law clerks for the next court term. He acknowledged in several interviews that he was contemplating stepping down and would certainly do so during Obama's presidency.
Now starts all the chatter about replacements, and I'm going to get slammed in the inbox as Gov. Granholm's name will certainly come up again. For the record, she recently stated that she didn't think she would get the nod - but that won't stop the speculation, of course.
Let the games begin.