Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, leader of the liberal wing of the Supreme Court, announced on Friday that he would retire at the end of this term, setting up a confirmation battle over his replacement that is sure to dominate the political scene this summer.
In a brief letter to President Obama, whom he addressed as “my dear Mr. President,” Justice Stevens said he was announcing his retirement now because he had “concluded that it would be in the best interests of the Court to have my successor appointed and confirmed well in advance of the commencement of the Court’s next term” in October. (continues here)
Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat at the center of the health care debate's battle over abortion, is going to announce his retirement today from the House.
The Associated Press is reporting that Stupak, a member of Congress for the last 18 years, will make his announcement at 12:30 p.m. today in Marquette, Mich. Stupak, 58, had been targeted for defeat by some anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party activists for his role in the health care fight. (continues here)
Douglass leaving White House
HuffPo’s Sam Stein reports: “White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass, a key player in the messaging effort behind the Obama administration's health care reform plan and a ubiquitous presence on the cable news circuit, is stepping down from her post. The former ABC correspondent, who went to work with Obama during his presidential campaign, confirmed to the Huffington Post that she would be leaving her role as Communications Director in the Office of Health Reform. ‘It was been a tremendous honor to serve the President and leaving this great team is bittersweet,’ Douglass said in a statement. ‘After nearly two years of work that has been exiliarating (sic) and grueling in equal measure, I am going to step off the treadmill for now and rediscover the experience of dining with my husband on a regular basis. I could not be prouder of having worked on the healthcare team and will be cheering from the sidelines as this historic law takes effect.’” (SOURCE)