Kerry On Retirement of Justice Stevens
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today released a statement lauding Associate Justice John Paul Stevens' 35 years of service to the United States Supreme Court.
"Justice Stevens is an American treasure. In an age of fierce partisanship and greater polarization on the Court itself, Justice Stevens stood out not for his ideology, though his convictions were deeply held, but for the way he combined scholarly wisdom with an instinct to boil the law down to its impact on average Americans and their lives.
"Justice Stevens reveres the Court, which is why in announcing his retirement he gave President Obama and the Senate the time to nominate his successor and fill the vacancy before the coming October session. We should do so with civility and purpose. This will be a test of the Senate at a time when this and other huge, unavoidable legislative challenges demand action. We've had a record number of filibusters and cloture votes aimed at delaying and deferring work that had to be done. That's a political strategy for the next election, not a way to govern. I opposed both of President Bush's nominees to the Court. There's nothing wrong with genuine disagreement. But we need a fair and swift confirmation process for the Court vacancy, and even as an enormous responsibility has been added to the Senate agenda this year, we must also break through gridlock and finish legislating on urgent priorities including financial reform to help our economy, and comprehensive energy and climate change reform. We can do all of these things and still confirm a new Justice."