On April 9, 2010, Justice John Paul Stevens of the US Supreme Court announced his retirement at the end of the court's 2009 term. In a letter to President Barack Obama, Stevens wrote, "it would be in the best interests of the Court to have my successor appointed and confirmed well in advance of the commencement of the Court's next Term." Stevens, 89, was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Gerald Ford and was seated in December 1975. He previously served on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Stevens was the court's oldest and most senior member. Obama later nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to succeed him.
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