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He's -- on the bench longer than any other current member of the Supreme Court.
John Paul Stevens was a federal judge in Chicago when in 1975.
President Gerald Ford picked him for the High Court.
-- impact was immediate his -- helped -- a narrow majority to reinstate the death penalty.
But by 2008 he concluded the -- capital punishment was carried out by states was pointless and quote patently excessive and cruel and unusual punishment.
The conclusion that these stable ground that he thought he found early on.
Was improving as stable as he would have liked.
Stephens was born in 1920 and raised in his beloved hometown of Chicago.
-- the only Randy old Stevens hotel on Michigan avenue until the Great Depression knocked them out of the business.
In between is college studies at the University of Chicago and northwestern law school -- finished first in his class.
He served in the US navy during World War II he was awarded a bronze star for his work as part of the famous code breakers stationed in Hawaii.
He did a one year -- -- for justice wiley Rutledge and they and Stevens would later call -- hero.
It is perhaps because of this experience it Stephens would make sure he engaged his clerks in the day to day operations of the -- That may not sound that unusual but in many of the other chambers a lot of work was done by -- -- right.
-- clerks write memos to the justice that -- set meetings every week.
For to talk to the justice on -- with Justice Stevens is an ongoing.
Legal discussion which is just the best opportunity.
-- Stevens has remained a prolific writer his voice on the court didn't really emerge until the 1990s when he became the longest serving associate justice.
This position second only to the chief justice and influence allowed him to craft close maturities in dozens of cases.
It's really flourish in that role.
On -- just as one vote like anybody else but.
It gave him and real kind of strategic -- For.
Marshaling is that where liberal wing of the court.
This deal enabled -- to pick up the crucial fifth vote in a string of war on terror cases -- 2004 through 2008.
Challenging the bush administration's handling of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.
All of those cases it's Justice Stevens -- -- a sign in the opinion to Justice Kennedy.
It's not like Justice Kennedy walks and a -- -- up all.
Amnesty -- marvel at his intellect and even temperament.
They also known as of rabid Chicago Cubs in a few years ago throughout the ceremonial first pitch at Wrigley Field.
And he -- -- -- in 1932.
A twelve year old boy.
Who saw Babe Ruth hit his famous called shot home run in the World Series -- really.
There's no doubt about it -- I saw them and everything preserve millions of people who claim to be here thing we've been here but I really was it.
In 2000 the Supreme Court was called upon to effectively decide that year's presidential election.
-- came out on the short end of that decision quote although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election.
The identity of the loser is perfectly clear it is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.
For him I would say it's a little bit angry normally his tone is very measured I think this town and that opinion is a little more hot.
In recent years Stevens maintained that his conservative principles -- never changed during his time on the court.
Rather it was the justices around him and perhaps the country to that became more conservative and heat.
Nonetheless justice John Paul Stevens could always be counted on for straight forward and thoughtful legal analysis.
Shortly before his death president Ford said he was -- -- to let history's judgment at his presidency.
Rest on his selection of Stevens to the Supreme Court in legacy of candor.
In Washington Shannon Breen Fox News.
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