Thank you, Justice Stevens

After 34 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Stevens will retire at the end of this term.  As described by the National Law Journal, Justice Stevens leaves a “diverse legal legacy,” including

…authoring landmark decisions ranging from Reno v. ACLU, the 1997 decision that anointed the Internet with broad First Amendment protection, to Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council in 1984, which has guided the administrative state ever since.

Stevens has firmly anchored the Court’s left wing, with a broad impact. CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford reports that he provided a critical fifth vote to:

Affirm abortion rights
Uphold affirmative action
Ban the death penalty for juveniles
Limit presidential war powers

As Dahlia Lithwick put it in her Newsweek piece,

Empathy is the power to imagine a world outside your experience, and to map that understanding onto the law…It sums up the very best qualities of Justice Stevens.

We thank him for his service to the Court, the legal community, and our country. Oh, what big shoes he has left to fill!

Feel free to share your farewell thoughts on Justice Stevens in the comments below.

© The Regents of the University of California, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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