U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who will turn 90 this month, announced today that he will retire after this term. The bow-tie-wearing Stevens was appointed by Republican President Gerald Ford, but as the last of the liberal “Rockefeller Republican” judges, he has become known as the most liberal justice on the court, frequently organizing other justices in opposition to the conservative majority. Stevens’ retirement will give President Barack Obama the opportunity to appoint his second Supreme Court justice, and will also allow Obama to get his nominee through the Senate before the Democrats’ majority is reduced or eliminated in the mid-term elections. Obama’s first appointment, last year, replaced the Court’s other liberal Republican, David Souter. With the departure of Stevens and Souter, the tradition of liberal Republican justices, which includes such famous figures as Eisenhower’s chief Justice Earl Warren, comes to an end.