At 4:50 (i assume 3:50 our time), when the President lands, Chief Justice Rehnquist will, supposedly, hand in his walking papers.

The interesting thing is that this is getting some conservatives wound up, because they think it will make it harder to "pack the courts." I don't know, seems to me President Bush hasn't exactly been the great compromiser. I expect great things from these nominees in the way on constructionists. Whether or not they are willing to overturn Roe, well, that isn't high on my list right now of "litmus tests."

A source close to the White House tells me that the White House is operating under the assumption, based on presumed knowledge of Novak's source, that this will, in fact, happen. Yes, keep in mind that I am not being told that the White House is confirming this, but that the White House has a good idea it should trust Novak's source.

Interestingly, it seems the same sources are saying Justice Stevens will also retire at the end of this year. If Rehnquist indeed hangs up the robes this afternoon, this source may be on to something.

Third party sources are now telling me that the John Paul Stevens rumor is true and that the White House is now planning for a third vacancy, but not until the end of the year. Third party sources, who I treat as credible, say that Stevens has begun taking actions in his personal life to make arrangements for personal affairs. It is presumed that Stevens is taking steps to retire.