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Associate Justice John Paul Stevens will be 90 years old in April 2010. When the justices chose law clerks for the 2010-2011 Term, Justice Stevens only hired one clerk instead of the customary four. This is generally considered an indication the justice intends to retire before the next Term begins, although he has not announced any plans. Although Justice Stevens was nominated by Republican President Gerald Ford, his votes have become more progressive over the years. If Obama has an opportunity to nominate Stevens' replacement, the balance of the Court should remain relatively unchanged.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may retire during President Obama's first term because she has been treated for pancreatic cancer within the past year; however, doctors say the tumor was small and caught early, so her chance of survival is good. Ginsburg was nominated by Clinton and is also one of the progressive members of the Court.

Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer are all in their 70s.

Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas will be 60 and 61 years old, respectively, in 2010.

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently joined the court, to replace Justice Souter, and will be 57 years on on her next birthday.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts is currently the youngest member of the Court, at 55 years.

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14y ago
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13y ago

None of the justices has announced retirement plans for 2011, but the most likely justice to retire during President Obama's first (or only) term is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

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Q: Which US Supreme Court justice is most likely to retire next?
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