Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was among the first to hear from Justice John Paul Stevens that he might retire, when Leahy and Stevens had a meeting in January. This week, they got together again.
In an interview today, Leahy confirmed that the two met on Tuesday. Asked the purpose of the meeting, Leahy declined to discuss details. “He’s an old friend, and I enjoy being with him,” he said. “He’s one of my heroes, and I don’t have an awful lot of them, but he’s one of my heroes.”
The latest meeting was first reported by Vermont Public Radio. Leahy told the station: “Had a long talk with him. He appreciated what I’ve been saying about having a person who represents all of us.”
Leahy has been effusive in his praise of Stevens since the justice announced Friday that he will retire and, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Leahy will lead the hearings this summer on President Barack Obama’s nominee to succeed Stevens.