White House pays tribute to late Justice Stevens

White House pays tribute to late Justice Stevens
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The White House on Tuesday night paid tribute to former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who died earlier that day at the age of 99.

"The President and the First Lady offer their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who passed away this evening," press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, noting he was a decorated World War II veteran "known for his humility, legal acumen, and affection for his beloved Chicago Cubs."

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"His work over the course of nearly 35 years on the Supreme Court will continue to shape the legal framework of our Nation for years to come. His passion for the law and for our country will not soon be forgotten," Grisham added.

The Supreme Court announced earlier on Tuesday evening that Stevens had passed away.

Appointed by President Ford to the nation's top court, where he served from 1975 to 2010, Stevens became one of the leading liberal justices on the bench.

His retirement at the age of 90 allowed then-President Obama to appoint liberal Justice Elena KaganElena KaganJustices grapple with multibillion-dollar ObamaCare case Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act MORE to the court. 

"I don't think of myself as a liberal at all," he told The New York Times in 2010. "Part of it is that people overlook the distinction between being a judicial liberal and a political liberal. I think as part of my general politics, I'm really pretty darn conservative."

He is survived by his two daughters, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.