April 9, 2010
Posted: 03:11 PM ET
Washington (CNN) - Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Friday he will retire this year, giving President Obama another opportunity to shape the nation's highest court.
Stevens, who turns 90 on April 20 and has served nearly 35 years on the court, announced his resignation in a brief letter delivered to the White House at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
"My dear Mr. President," Stevens wrote. "Having concluded that 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, I shall retire from regular active service as an associate justice ... effective the next day after the court rises for the summer recess this year."
He signed it, "Most respectfully yours."
White House counsel Bob Bauer discussed Stevens' retirement by telephone at 10:45 a.m. with Obama, who was returning from Europe aboard Air Force One. Obama is expected to make an announcement after his arrival in Washington on Friday afternoon.
Stevens was at a second home Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a court official said.
From around the web
Go Behind The Scenes
LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.
With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.