John Paul Stevens, the third-longest serving justice in US Supreme Court history, and Chicago native has died at age 99, according to a Supreme Court official. A statement is expected from the U.S. Supreme Court tonight.
He was selected by President Ford in 1975 and retired in 2010. Stevens died this evening at Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, of complications following a stroke he suffered on July 15. Stevens was the last world war 2 veteran to serve on the court.
An interesting story in the Ken Burns “Prohibition” documentary was when Stevens told the story regarding his dad, the owner of the large Stevens hotel in Chicago, went to see Al Capone himself to ask him if he could make the streets safe during the national Canner’s Convention. Capone agreed and they were.
Stevens enjoyed his share of victories on the closely-divided court, including on a series of cases during Bush’s administration that gave prisoners at Guantanamo Bay the right to challenge their incarceration in U.S. courts, rather than military tribunals.
The court also upheld the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law and banned the use of the death penalty against juveniles and those with intellectual disabilities, with Stevens leading the liberal wing against the court’s conservatives.
He would later say his biggest regret was reinstating the death penalty, even calling it unconstitutional.
More to come on this story, please stay updated.
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