John Paul Stevens
|John Paul Stevens|
|Current Court Information:|
|Supreme Court of the United States|
|Appointed by:||Gerald Ford|
|Active:||12/17/1975 - 6/30/2010|
|Senior:||6/30/2010 - Present|
|Preceded by:||William Douglas|
|Succeeded by:||Elena Kagan|
|Past post:||Seventh Circuit|
|Past term:||10/14/1970 - 12/18/1975|
|Home State:||Chicago, IL|
|Undergraduate:||U. of Chicago, B.A., 1941|
|Law School:||Northwestern U. Law, J.D., 1947|
|Military service:||U.S. Naval Reserves, 1942-1945|
Stevens' decision to hire only one law clerk for the term that begins in October 2010 fueled speculation that he intended to retire. By this time in years past, Justice Stevens has normally hired four law clerks.
On April 9, 2010, Judge Stevens announced that he would retire from the nation's highest court after the court's session ended in June. His letter to the President reads:
"My dear Mr. President:
Having concluded that it would be in the best interests of the Court to have my successor appointed and confirmed well in advance of the commencement of the Court's next Term, I shall retire from regular active service as an Associate Justice, under the provisions of 28 D.S.C. § 371(b), effective the next day after the Court rises for the summer recess this year.John Paul Stevens"
Most respectfully yours,
Early life and education
Stevens was born on April 20, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois, to a wealthy family. He grew up in Hyde Park.
Stevens obtained his B.A. in English from the University of Chicago in 1941. With the end of World War II, Stevens enrolled in the Northwestern University School of Law in 1945 (the G.I. Bill mostly paying his way). He received his J.D. in 1947.
He began work on his master's degree in English at the university in 1941, but soon decided to join the United States Navy. He served as a Lieutenant Commander from 1942-1945, during World War II.
He has been married twice (he and his first wife divorced in 1979). He has four children.
After law school, Stevens served as a clerk to Supreme Court justice Wiley Rutledge. Next, Stevens joined the law firm of Poppenhusen, Johnston, Thompson & Raymond in Chicago. In 1951, he returned to Washington, D.C. to serve as Associate Counsel to the Subcommittee on the Study of Monopoly Power of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. At the age of 32, Stevens started a law firm with two other young lawyers. Called Rothschild, Stevens, Barry & Myers and based in Chicago, at this firm Stevens concentrated on antitrust cases. Due to his growing expertise in antitrust law, he was asked to teach the "Competition and Monopoly" course at the University of Chicago Law School. He also performed as a member of the Attorney General's National Committee to Study Antitrust Law.
President Richard Nixon appointed Stevens as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on November 20, 1970 to fill the vacancy left by Elmer Schnackenberg. He was confirmed on October 8, 1970, and received commission on October 14, 1970 He served in this capacity until President Gerald Ford nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He was succeeded to this post by Harlington Wood.
Supreme Court of the United States
Stevens was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States by Gerald Ford on November 28, 1975 to replace Justice William O. Douglas. Stevens took his seat December 17, 1975, after being confirmed 98–0 by the Senate. He assumed senior status on June 30, 2010. He was succeeded to this post by Elena Kagan.
Stevens has given lectures on the importance of “learning on the job” and treating the law with flexibility, citing as one example his former disapproval and current support of some affirmative action policies.
As his seniority grew in the closing decade of the Rehnquist court, Stevens was often the senior justice on one side of a split decision and thereby entitled to assign the writing of the opinion.
In a recent article, Supreme Court watcher Thomas Goldstein predicted that Justice Stevens will retire during the next presidential term. However, he would wait until he surpassed Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes as the oldest justice in the history of the Court in late February 2011. Additionally, Stevens could retire during the next presidential term as the longest-serving justice if he did so after July 15, 2012 but before January 20, 2013.
Awards and associations
- 2012 Benjamin Nathan Cardozo Memorial Award
- News: Retired Supreme Court justice weighs in on healthcare debate, October 7, 2011
- Legal profiles:
- Financial information:
- Issue positions:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Supreme court official bio (PDF)
- Salon.com, "Stevens: Rationale for Bush v. Gore was "unacceptable," May 16, 2013
- ABA Journal "Stevens Explains Death Penalty Stance, Bow Ties," May 6, 2010
- The Boston Globe, "Notable case opinions by John Paul Stevens," April 10, 2010
- Los Angeles Times, "Justice John Paul Stevens' point of view," April 10, 2010
- Usa Today "Supreme Court's Stevens keeps cards close to robe," October 17, 2009
- Justice Weighs Desire v. Duty (Duty Prevails) by Linda Greenhouse August 25, 2005 on civilrights.org
- John Paul Stevens, Human Rights Judge, by Professor Diane Marie Amann
- John Paul Stevens, encyclopedia article by Prof. Joseph Thai
- Stevens High School, named after Justice Stevens
- "Justice Stevens slows his hiring at high court" Associated Press, September 2, 2009
- "Speculation rises that Supreme Court Justice Stevens will retire" Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2009
- "One sign Justice Stevens may retire in 2010" San Francisco Chronicle, September 3, 2009
- The Washington Post "Justice John Paul Stevens to retire from court in June," April 9, 2010
- Justice Stevens letter to President Obama, April 9, 2010
- Official FJC Bio for Justice Stevens
- Former Supreme Court Justice Stevens showcases legal knowledge, quick wit in Naples appearance
|Federal judicial offices|
|Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
|Former chief justices||White|
|Former associate justices||
Baldwin • Barbour • Black • Blackmun • Blair • Blatchford • Bradley • Brandeis • Brennan • Brewer • Brown • Burton • Butler • Byrnes • Campbell • Cardozo • Catron • Chase • Clark • Clarke • Clifford • Curtis • Cushing • Daniel • Davis • Day • Douglas • Duvall • Field • Fortas • Frankfurter • Goldberg • Gray • Grier • Harlan I • Harlan II • Holmes • Hunt • Iredell • H. Jackson • R. Jackson • T. Johnson • W. Johnson, Jr. • J. Lamar • L. Lamar • Livingston • Lurton • Marshall • Matthews • McKenna • McKinley • McLean • McReynolds • Miller • Minton • Moody • Moore • Murphy • Nelson • Paterson • Peckham • Pitney • Powell • Reed • Roberts • W. Rutledge • Sanford • Shiras • Stewart • Story • Strong • Sutherland • Swayne • Thompson • Todd • Trimble • Van Devanter • Washington • Wayne • B. White • Whittaker • Wilson • Woodbury • Woods
|Former judges||John Paul Stevens • Julian William Mack • Terence Evans • John Coffey • Jesse Eschbach • Walter Quintin Gresham • Thomas Fairchild • Philip Tone • William Allen Woods • James Graham Jenkins • William Henry Seaman • John William Showalter • Peter Stenger Grosscup • Christian Cecil Kohlsaat • Albert Barnes Anderson • Francis Elisha Baker • Samuel Alschuler • Evan Alfred Evans • Louis FitzHenry • George True Page • Walter Lindley • William Morris Sparks • James Earl Major • Walter Treanor • Francis Duffy • Otto Kerner, Sr. • Otto Kerner, Jr. • Harlington Wood • Winfred Knoch • William Parkinson • Luther Swygert • Sherman Minton • Latham Castle • Walter Cummings • Philip Finnegan • John Hastings • Roger Kiley • Wilbur Pell • Elmer Schnackenberg • Robert Sprecher • Hardress Swaim •|
|Former Chief judges|
Ackerman • Anderson • Aronovitz • Broderick • Callister • Cohill • Copenhaver • Crowley • Davis • Fay • Goettel • Guy • Haight • Hall • Hill • Ingram • Manos • Munson • Poole • Pratt • Richey • Schwartz • Schwarzer • Sear • Sterling • Takasugi • Waters • Williams •Wood