John Paul Stevens is the United States Supreme Courts senior Justice, soon to turn 90. He is thirteen years older than his closest colleague in age (Ginsburg) and has served the fourth longest term of a Supreme Court Justice in American history, having been appointed in 1975 by President Gerald R. Ford. Though he was appointed by a Republican president, he has increasingly leaned left in recent years. Long considered a centrist, he has increasingly been identified as a leader among the "progressive" block that includes Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. Asked the cause for this rift, and Stevens suggests that the conservative element of the court has drifted further right (and even to an activist right...ie: the Roberts court's recent ruling on corporate campaign spending). You can read more about Stevens here. He seems to be on the verge of retirement...in which case this pivotal justice will be replaced by an Obama appointee. What do you think the loss of Steven's leadership and perspective will mean for the progressive side of the court? What will it mean for the court's conservative interests? Do you think Obama will appoint another woman (currently only 2 of the 9 justices are female)? An African American (currently only 1 of the 9 is African American), or a protestant (currently 2 justices are Jewish and six are Roman Catholic)? Do you think the public will lose faith with the court if it becomes further polarized, activist, or political? The court of the only branch of the US federal government that is not elected by citizens...does that leave it vulnerable to a popular revolt?