John Paul Stevens
- Category : 1920-births
- Type : PE
- Profile : 4/1 - Opportunistic / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : JX Mutation
American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1975 until his retirement in 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the second-oldest-serving justice in the history of the court, and the third-longest-serving Justice. A registered Republican when appointed, Stevens was considered to have been on the liberal side of the court at the time of his retirement. He had the longest life of the 114 justices in United States history.
He was the 101st Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, appointed by President Gerald R. Ford. He came to the high court on 17 December 1975, was sworn in two days later, just three weeks after his appointment had been announced on 28 November 1975. He waited six years to be able to move from his freshman spot on the court, and as of the turn of the century, he was second only to the Chief Justice in seniority.
From a prominent Chicago family, he had a reputation as a sharp-minded and hardworking attorney. Stevens was the youngest of four sons. His prominent father operated the Stevens and LaSalle hotels, among other businesses until the Depression cost the family much of its wealth. He attended the University of Chicago High School, and then the University itself, where he graduated in 1941 with a B.A. degree and a Phi Beta Kappa key.
He joined the Navy during World War II and was stationed in Washington, DC from 1942-1945. For his role as part of a Navy code-breaking team, he won the Bronze Star. He returned to Chicago at the end of the war, and enrolled in Northwestern University School of Law where he graduated first in his class in 1947.
Before practicing law, Stevens spent 1947-1948 as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge. He joined a Chicago law firm in 1948, and acquired experience in antitrust law which helped him when he served as associate council of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on monopoly power from 1951-1952. From 1953 to 1955, he was a member of the Attorney General’s National Committee to Study Antitrust Laws. He lectured on antitrust law at Northwestern University School of Law in 1953 and at the University of Chicago Law School in 1954-1955.
In 1952, he helped found the Chicago law firm of Rothschild, Hart, Stevens and Barry. During 1969, he took time from his antitrust cases to serve as general counsel to a special Illinois commission set up to investigate judicial corruption.
On 14 October 1970, President Richard Nixon appointed him a judge of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He took office on 2 November 1970, beginning five years on the federal bench in Chicago, where he was rated as one of the 12 leading appeals court judges in the country.
In July 1974 he had open-heart surgery.
He was nominated for the Supreme Court by President Gerald Ford on 28 November 1975 and sworn in on 19 December 1975. He served as freshman member of the high court until the appointment of a new justice six years later.
Stevens married Elizabeth Sheeran on 7 June 1942 while serving in the Navy, and they had four children, two adopted, and two after being married for 20 years. They divorced in 1979. He married Maryan Mulholland Simon in 1980; she died in 2015. Amiable and modest, he flew his own plane and played golf, tennis and bridge. Stevens died from complications of a stroke in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 16 July 2019, aged 99.