Justice Stevens has hired one law clerk for the 2010 term of the Supreme Court (the one that begins in October 2010). That's the news.
Justice Stevens will retire next summer. That's the rumor.
The news fuels the rumor because:
- Active Supreme Court Justices have four law clerks each.
- Retired Justices are entitled to one law clerk.
- Typically, Justices hire their clerks a year in advance, so most (if not all) of the clerks for the 2010 term have now been hired.
- Although he's often among the last to hire his clerks, Stevens typically hires all of his at one time.
- He'll be frickin' 90 years old, fergodssake.
- He'll have been on the Court for 35 years.
- He can be assured that if he retires next summer, while Obama's still President and before things start heating up for the 2012 election, Obama will appoint and Congress will confirm a strong liberal to replace him.
Anyway, them is the tea leaves.