Retired Justice John Paul Stevens Dies at 99

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (99) died on Tuesday, July 16 after suffering a stroke.

What We Know:

  • Stevens served on the Supreme Court for nearly 35 years. He was the only justice appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1975.
  • At the start of his career, Stevens identified as a Republican. His beliefs shifted left over the years and he disagreed with many key conservative values. For example, Stevens voted in favor of upholding Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion, in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case. Another example is his dissent from the majority in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. This case decided the Second Amendment grants citizens the right to bear arms.
  • Stevens retired from his position at the age of 90 and President Obama appointed Justice Elena Kagan as his replacement in 2010. President Barack Obama also awarded Stevens the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2012.
  • In a statement confirming Steven’s death, Chief Justice John Roberts stated “He brought to our bench an inimitable blend of kindness, humility, wisdom, and independence. His unrelenting commitment to justice has left us a better nation”.
  • Stevens will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery alongside his wife, Maryan, and several other Supreme Court Justices.

Justice Stevens will certainly be remembered for his contributions to the justice system and may he truly rest in peace.