Liberal, conservative Supreme Court justices unite in praising Stevens

Liberal, conservative Supreme Court justices unite in praising Stevens
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Current and former Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum joined together in praising the late Justice John Paul Stevens after his death on Tuesday.

In a slate of statements released by the Supreme Court Wednesday, the justices pointed to Stevens’ commitment to the judicial system during his 35 years on the bench, his collegiality and kindness to not just them but also those appearing before the court.

Justice Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasSupreme Court allows Trump administration to move forward with 'public charge' rule On The Trail: Why 2020 is the most important election in our lifetime Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' MORE, who spent nearly two decades serving alongside Stevens, called the late justice an “unfailingly collegial, courteous, and kind colleague.”

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“Since his retirement, we have missed him greatly as a member of the Court, and now will miss him even more profoundly as a friend,” he said.

Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgOn The Trail: Why 2020 is the most important election in our lifetime Supreme Court sharply divided over state aid for religious schools Equal Rights Amendment will replace equality with enforced sameness MORE said Stevens “was my model for all a collegial judge should be.”

“In a Capital City with no shortage of self-promoters, Justice Stevens set a different tone. Quick as his bright mind was, Justice Stevens remained a genuinely gentle and modest man,” Ginsburg said.

“No jurist with whom I have served was more dedicated to the judicial craft, more open to what he called ‘learning on the job,’ more sensitive to the wellbeing of the community law exists (or should exist) to serve.”

Justice Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerOn The Trail: Why 2020 is the most important election in our lifetime Justices grapple with 'Bridgegate' convictions The Trumpification of the federal courts MORE remembered Stevens for his “brilliant mind, which he put to the service of his strong humane instincts.”

“John understood how the rule of law forms a necessary part of our constitutional democracy. He understood that laws are designed primarily to serve those who live under them. His work reveals that understanding,” Breyer said. “The Nation will long benefit from that work; and he will be long remembered.”

And Justice Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses On The Trail: Why 2020 is the most important election in our lifetime Supreme Court sharply divided over state aid for religious schools MORE said that Stevens “went out of his way to make me feel at home from my first day on the Court.”

“Throughout his long and dedicated career, he brought a penetrating, pragmatic, and distinctively singular intellect to bear on the most important legal issues of the time. Historians will note his many important contributions to the Court’s work, and those of us who had the privilege of knowing him as a person will surely miss him,” Alito said.

Former Justice David Souter, who stepped down in 2009 – one year before Stevens’ own retirement – kept his remembrance succinct: “He was the soul of principle and an irreplaceable friend.”

Retired Justice Anthony Kennedy similarly remembered Stevens for his conduct on the court.

“He was emphatic always in asking this question: Is what the Court about to do fair to the injured party? He was brilliant at interpreting the law in a way to reach what he considered to be the fair result,” Kennedy said.

The retired justice said that he and Stevens “became close personal friends.”

“We used to say that we should not visit each other’s chambers too often because once we started to talk it was hard to stop,” Kennedy said.

Justices who did not serve alongside Stevens also issued statements honoring the late justice: Justice Elena KaganElena KaganSupreme Court sharply divided over state aid for religious schools Buttigieg, Klobuchar lay out criteria for potential judicial nominees Welcome to third-world democracy and impeachment MORE, who former President Obama nominated for Stevens’ spot on the bench, said she was “honored to succeed” him and that “his extraordinary tenure has inspired me ever since.”

Justice Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchSupreme Court allows Trump administration to move forward with 'public charge' rule January reminds us why courts matter — and the dangers of 'Trump judges' Planned Parenthood launches M campaign to back Democrats in 2020 MORE said that Stevens “will be remembered as one of dedication to his country,” while Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughDemocrats Manchin, Jones signal they're undecided on Trump removal vote Collins walks impeachment tightrope Supreme Court sharply divided over state aid for religious schools MORE said the late justice “treated others with extraordinary respect and established an enduring model of decency and courtesy for all judges and lawyers.”

Remembrances for Stevens, who died Tuesday at the age of 99, have emerged from both sides of the aisle in Washington since the Supreme Court confirmed his passing. He died from complications following a stroke, according to the court.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE ordered that flags be flown at half-staff in Stevens’ honor, and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse passes bill aimed at bolstering Holocaust education Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — NFL social media accounts hacked | Dem questions border chief over controversial Facebook group | Clinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views Meadows: Republicans who break with Trump could face political repercussions MORE said that Stevens will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, with a memorial service held on Tuesday.