WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - For the second time in 2 years, Wisconsin’s U.S. senators will both have a larger than normal say in choosing a new Supreme Court justice. Democrats Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold are both on the Judiciary Committee, which will help confirm a successor to Justice John Paul Stevens who announced his retirement Friday. He’s the court’s oldest member, 11 days shy of turning 90. And he has led the court’s liberal wing on major issues involving abortion, civil rights, church-state relationships, and criminal law.
Kohl said Stevens contributed a lifetime of knowledge and experience to some of the most important legal issues in the nation’s history. And Kohl said he’ll look forward to, “confirming a nominee that will carry on his distinguished legacy.” President Obama is expected to appoint another liberal, so the court’s philosophical makeup will not be affected. Friday’s announcement gives the president and Senate enough time to install a new justice before the Supreme Court’s next term begins in October.