A New York Times editorial said Justice Stevens had a reputation for being on the side of "fairness and justice." The left reserves the right to interpret such notions. The Constitution ought not be open to individual interpretation. The Framers meant what they wrote. Their words have served the country well, at least until the reinterpreters began defining the words according to their political biases.
Liberals view the Constitution as an impediment to their political and social agenda. Like water running downhill, liberal jurists will go around, over, under or through any obstruction that impedes them from imposing their worldview from the bench, and without the approval of the Constitution or the electorate.
Whoever Obama nominates, at least two things are guaranteed. First, the person will be a liberal in the tradition of John Paul Stevens and Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948), who famously said, "The Constitution is what the judges say it is." Second, no matter how far left the person is, you won't hear the big media say the nominee is "out of the mainstream" as when a Republican president nominates a conservative to the court.
By some estimates, this is a 70-30 center-right nation. How, then, is a far-left liberal nominee considered mainstream and a moderate-to-conservative one not mainstream?
There is always the outside chance an Obama nominee will convert to judicial restraint, but that is as likely to happen as a tax cut from this president.