In Bush v. Gore, the 2000 decision that handed the presidency to George W. Bush: “Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”The President will nominate Stevens' replacement sometime in the next few weeks. Seeing that his party will likely lose Senate seats this November, Mr. Obama should use this opportunity to nominate a jurist of Stevens' liberal philosophy. Pushing a centrist consensus nominee through wouldn't be wise, as the court needs a solid leftist to take on the radical right wing fascists currently on the court.
There is a 60% to 70% chance that Obama will have one more vacancy to fill before the end of his first term, as I believe Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be the next to retire. He'll need a centrist consensus candidate at that point, so why not shoot for the stars this time out?