Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will retire this summer. He will turn 90 in 11 days. Stevens is a member of the "liberal" wing of the court, which means he is a Republican-appointed moderate. Now comes the fun part!
Look, we basically already wrote this post back in September, when it was apparent that the retirement was imminent, so go there for your "wacky predictions of the miserable confirmation shitshow to come."
We'll just note that a late-June or early-July retirement by Stevens means the confirmation battle will begin basically at the height of midterm campaign season. So literally anyone Obama picks will be painted as a radical by the opposition party and his or her (hah, "his," AS IF) confirmation will be held up as long as parliamentarily possible.
(Though theoretically Obama could begin the process before Stevens has actually retired? Anyone know?)
Stevens is known for his occasional ability to convince Anthony Kennedy to be unafraid of violent threats from the constantly inebriated Justice Scalia and join the side of Good, so whoever Obama picks better be tall enough to do that thing to Scalia where you hold them at arms length while they attempt to take swings at you.
We went through the Stevens replacement shortlist earlier.