Next Supreme Court Justice to Solidify Right Wing, Neoliberal Control - by Stephen Lendman
On April 9, Justice John Paul Stevens delivered a letter to President Obama stating:
"Having concluded that it would be in the best interests of the Court to have my successor appointed and confirmed well in advance of the commencement of the Court's next Term, I shall retire from regular active service as an Associate Justice."
NBC anchor Brian Williams called him a "liberal lion," a "lawyer's lawyer." UPI's Michael Kirkland said he led the Court's "four-member liberal bloc." AP's Mark Sherman and Calvin Woodward said he "carved a liberal legacy on the high court." Clinton's acting Solicitor General, Walter Dellinger, called him "the Chief Justice of the Liberal Supreme Court." Writing in The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin said he was a "liberal leader (who's) views suggest a sensibility more than a philosophy."
Others remember him both ways:
-- voting to reinstate the death penalty in 1976 and against "affirmative" preferences in the 1978 Bakke case; and
-- for his scathing 2000 Bush v. Gore dissent, support for reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state, among his other liberal and conservative decisions.
In a 2007 interview, Stevens told journalist Jeffrey Rosen he hasn't changed much since his 1975 appointment, saying: