Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Steven has passed away at the age of 99, after suffering a stroke on Monday.
According to ABC News, the Supreme Court confirmed the news on Tuesday with a statement: “Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, John Paul Stevens, died this evening at Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, of complications following a stroke he suffered on July 15. He passed away peacefully with his daughters by his side. He was 99 years old.”
Stevens, nominated by GOP president Gerald Ford in 1975, was the third-longest serving justice in the court’s history, sitting on the Supreme Court until 2010.
Though he was nominated by a Republican president, Stevens ultimately ended up being one of the Supreme Court’s liberal leaders.
As Politico noted on Monday, “Stevens evolved from a centrist and pragmatist to someone who was often the court’s most-liberal voice. His later years were marked by a number of scathing dissents, including in Bush v. Gore, the case that decided the 2000 presidential election, and Citizens United v. FEC, the landmark 2010 election finance case. He also shifted to more liberal positions over the years on affirmative action and the death penalty.”
Stevens warned about Trump’s abuses of power
While John Paul Stevens may have passed away on Tuesday, his warnings about Donald Trump’s abuse of presidential power should live on.
As MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin pointed out, as recently as two months ago Stevens said Trump was “exceeding his presidential powers” by not complying with subpoenas.
Just two months ago, John Paul Stevens accused Trump of exceeding his presidential powers, telling the WSJ that Trump “has to comply with subpoenas.” https://t.co/PXXZSAM6J3
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 17, 2019
“The President is exercising powers that do not really belong to him,” Stevens said earlier this year.
The late Supreme Court justice openly hoped that Trump “won’t do too much damage” to courts, and even went as far as to say he wasn’t sure if he was a Republican anymore.
“I can say I do not expect to vote for the Republican candidate for president at the next election,” he said in May, according to CNN. “I don’t know whether I’m a member of the party or I’m not.”
John Paul Stevens passed away on Tuesday, but his legacy as a decent man who put the rule of law above ideology will live on. So, too, will his warnings about Donald Trump’s lawless presidency.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.