WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court's oldest member and its leading liberal is retiring.
Justice John Paul Stevens informed President Barack Obama of his decision in a one-paragraph letter received at the White House Friday morning.
Stevens say he'll step down when the court finishes its work for the summer.
The announcement comes as no surprise. Stevens, who joined the court in 1975 after being nominated by President Gerald Ford, turns 90 later this month. He acknowledged in recent interviews that he's been thinking about retirement.
The move gives Obama his second high court opening to fill, and Stevens says he hopes his successor will be confirmed "well in advance" of the court's next term.