Professor Amann Comments on Justice Stevens for MSNBC, Washington Post
Professor Diane Marie Amann commented on the possible retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens for MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" news program and for an article in the Washington Post.
Rumors of Justice Stevens' imminent retirement have circulated in recent days, but Professor Amann, a former clerk for Justice Stevens who is now at work on a biography of the Justice, told MSNBC that he was "probably considering whether he is going to retire, and trying to exercise a little bit of control over the decision" in contrast to the retirement of Justice David Souter last year, which was leaked to the press and followed by an official announcement.
Professor Amann also commented on the potential impact of Justice Stevens' retirement on the Court, which she said would be profound, even if, as expected, President Obama were to appoint someone ideologically similar as a replacement.
Justice Stevens "has really shown himself to be a leader on the Court for the last several years, perhaps the last decade, and any time you see someone leave the Court who has a major leadership role, that causes a shift on the Court even if the raw votes don't change," said Professor Amann. "The fact that he has been a justice for 35 years now, has an incredible institutional memory, and has worked very closely with his colleagues and has really led his wing of the court, all of those considerations suggest that even if the raw votes didn't change there would be a genuine change in the way the Court goes about its business."
Speaking to the Washington Post, Professor Amann said that "one of the secrets" Justice Stevens' longevity on the Court has been "the very vibrant personal life he has maintained outside the Court."
Diane Marie Amann is a Professor at the UC Davis School of Law. Issues related to post-9/11 detention, interrogation, and prosecution are a focus of her scholarship. She is also a leading scholar on the jurisprudence of Justice Stevens, and helped to organize the UC Davis Law Review Symposium on Justice Stevens in March 2009. The Law Review's symposium edition has just been published; online versions of articles by Professor Amann and many other legal experts may be accessed by clicking on the article title in this table of contents: UC Davis Law Review Volume 43, No. 3, February 2010.
MSNBC.com segment (Click on video selection titled "Supreme Court Justice Stevens to retire?")
Washington Post article