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Originally published Sunday, April 4, 2010 at 4:06 AM

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Specter hopes Justice Stevens doesn't quit in 2010

A leading Democratic senator hopes Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens doesn't decide to retire this year.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON —

A leading Democratic senator hopes Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens doesn't decide to retire this year.

The 89-year-old Stevens says he "will surely" step down during Barack Obama's presidency, and will decide soon whether it's this year or next.

Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., worries that a nomination fight this year would mean gridlock in the partisan Senate. Specter thinks there's a better chance for consensus next year.

Specter tells "Fox News Sunday" he hopes Obama would pick someone who would be a check on executive power, as he says Stevens has provided.

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, isn't ruling out a possible GOP filibuster.

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