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Reaction Round-Up: Justice Stevens Retires

Here’s a roundup of reactions to the news that Justice John Paul Stevens will retire from the Supreme Court:

Chief Justice John Roberts of the United States:

“Associate Justice John Paul Stevens has earned the gratitude and admiration of the American people for his nearly 40 years of distinguished service to the Judiciary, including more than 34 years on the Supreme Court. He has enriched the lives of everyone at the Court through his intellect, independence, and warm grace. We have all been blessed to have John as our colleague and his wife Maryan as our friend. We will miss John’s presence in our daily work, but will take joy in his and Maryan’s continued friendship in the years ahead.”

SCOTUSblog has a link to statements from other Supreme Court justices past and present here.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“Justice Stevens’ unique and enduring perspective is irreplaceable; his stalwart adherence to the rule of law is unparalleled. The federal judiciary, and indeed the entire nation, will miss his principled jurisprudence. While it is with a heavy heart, I wish him the best in his retirement. ”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., ranking Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“It is important for us to recognize the long and historic role that Justice Stevens has played on the Supreme Court, and to thank him for his lifelong service to his country. He is a tireless worker and a historic figure in America’s legal system, and we wish him only the best during his retirement from the Court.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.:

“Justice Stevens has been a strong presence on the court for almost 35 years and worked to build consensus and protect the rule of law. I honor his service to America and wish him well in his retirement.”

Senate Ranking Republican Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.:

“I commend Justice Stevens for his lifelong commitment to public service, from his early days fighting corruption in Chicago, to his work in naval intelligence during the Second World War, to his more than three decades on the nation’s highest court. Even if Justice Stevens’ liberalism has led to many decisions I oppose, I respect his devotion to the institution and the gentlemanly manner in which he always carried out his work.”

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., member of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
”Justice Stevens’ commitment to expanding freedom, safeguarding our rights and liberties, and understanding the challenges faced by ordinary Americans will be his legal legacy. He has had no judicial agenda other than fidelity to the law and the Constitution.”

Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“Justice Stevens’ has had a profound impact on the judiciary and the law. He is a remarkably dedicated public servant and a profoundly decent human being.”

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life:

“There are several nominees on the President’s short list of replacements for Justice Stevens who have a radical track record on the abortion issue. If a nominee is selected who is committed to imposing his or her social agenda on the Court, rather than interpreting the Constitution fairly, we will work to oppose their confirmation vigorously.”

Nan Aron, president of the liberal Alliance for Justice:

“For over three decades, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens has been a tremendous force for fairness on the Supreme Court, and his contributions to the advancement of constitutional protections are immense. He has emerged as one of the Court’s most vocal and eloquent spokespersons for individual liberties, separation of powers, and equal access to justice. A master tactician, he leaves a legacy of championing personal freedoms and human dignity in defense of everyday Americans. His fierce protection of core Constitutional values and his distinctive voice will be greatly missed.”

–Compiled from wire reports and other media sources