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Associate Justice John Paul Stevens sits for a new group photograph at the Supreme Court in Washington in 2009. Stevens, leader of Supreme Court's liberals, will retire this summer. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announces retirement

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WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the court's oldest member and leader of its liberal bloc, is retiring. President Barack Obama now has his second high court opening to fill.

Stevens said today he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July. He said he hopes his successor is confirmed "well in advance of the commencement of the court's next term."

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