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Ex-justice says politics can be factor on retiring

Monday - 4/21/2014, 3:28pm  ET

FILE - In this May 20, 2013 file photo, Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens talks about his views and career during a forum at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. Stevens said he thinks it is appropriate for Supreme Court justices to factor in political considerations when weighing a decision to retire. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- John Paul Stevens says he thinks it's appropriate for Supreme Court justices to factor in political considerations when weighing a decision to retire.

"I think certainly it's natural and an appropriate thing to think about your successor," the retired justice told ABC's "This Week" in an interview aired Sunday.

Stevens was nominated by Republican President Gerald Ford. He joined the court in 1975 and retired in 2010, at 90.

Stevens was asked about speculation that 81-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is resisting calls from some liberals to retire while Barack Obama is president and Democrats control the Senate, which must confirm nominees.

"If you're interested in the job and in the kind of work that's done, you have to have an interest in who's going to fill your shoes," Stevens said.

Stevens said his decision to step down was made out of concern about his own health, rather than any political reason.


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