John Paul Stevens

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Houston, Texas, Wortham Center, November 16, 2010.

Presentation part 1. Typical day at the Court, arriving at decisions, Thurgood Marshall, learning process, capital punishment, favorite rullings, why the Constitution works. 23:21

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Presentation part 2. Same sex marriage, healthcare, advice to the Court. 22:28

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SHORT. Why mosque in New York City should be allowed. 7:33

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SHORT. Babe Ruth's "called shot" in 1932 World Series. 3:09

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John Paul Stevens is introduced by Progressive Forum president, Randall R. Morton. 7:33

John Paul Stevens | November 16, 2010 | Wortham Center | The Progressive Forum


Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired officially June 28, 2010, is the third-longest serving justice in the Supreme Court’s history and was widely regarded as the leader of the liberal wing. A native of Chicago, Stevens attended the University of Chicago. He earned a Bronze Star in World War II for his work on a code-breaking team in the Pacific theater. After the war, he attended Northwestern Law School where he distinguished himself as editor of the law review, graduating with the highest grades in the law school’s history at that time. As a lawyer, much of his work focused on anti-trust litigation, an expertise which led to positions with special counsels to the House of Representatives and the U.S. Attorney General’s office. He served as a lecturer on anti-trust law at the law schools of Northwestern and the University of Chicago. In 1970, Nixon appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ford in 1975, Stevens emerged as a voice of moderation as the Court turned 
more conservative. Court commentators say Stevens was a wily practitioner of coalition building, reaching out to swing justices like Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy. A strong and fast writer, Stevens was unique in writing his own first draft of opinions. He’s a pilot, an amateur Shakespearean, and a baseball fan who saw Babe Ruth’s “called shot” in the 1932 World Series. Doing much of his work from his home in Florida, for years he occasionally piloted his own plane between Washington, D.C. and Florida. This past speaker page shares the entire event, which was a Q&A.

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