ACLU Comments On Retirement Of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

April 9, 2010 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens today announced his retirement from the Court after serving for 35 years.

The following can be attributed to Steven R. Shapiro, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

“The nation owes Justice John Paul Stevens its deep gratitude for 35 years of distinguished service on the United States Supreme Court. Justice Stevens was widely perceived as a maverick during his early years on the Court and just as widely acknowledged as a master tactician during the latter stages of his career. From beginning to end, however, Justice Stevens has been an independent thinker who has been fiercely committed to the rule of the law and the Court’s role in preserving it. Without his leadership, the Bush administration might well have succeeded in its effort to deprive Guantánamo detainees of any rights and any access to U.S. courts.

“The civil liberties legacy of Justice Stevens is deep and broad. He has promoted racial equality, supported gay rights and defended a woman’s right to choose. He wrote the first decision recognizing free speech rights on the Internet and just a few years ago concluded that the death penalty is unconstitutional.

“Justice Stevens has earned his retirement, but he will be sorely missed.”

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