John Paul Stevens was an 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, the third-longest-serving Justice.
Stevens was a registered Republican at the time of his appointment to the supreme court. He was considered to have been on the liberal side of the court at the time of his retirement. He had the most extended life of the justices in United States history.
Born in Chicago, Stevens served in the United States Navy during World War II and graduated from Northwestern University School of Law. After clerking for Justice Wiley Blount Rutledge, he co-founded a law firm in Chicago, focusing on antitrust law. In 1970, President Richard Nixon appointed Stevens to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Five years later, President Gerald Ford successfully nominated Stevens to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Justice William O. Douglas. He became the senior Associate Justice after the retirement of Harry Blackmun in 1994. Stevens retired during the administration of President Barack Obama and was succeeded by Justice Elena Kagan.
Stevens’s majority opinions in landmark cases include Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Apprendi v. New Jersey, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Kelo v. The city of New London, and Massachusetts v. EPA. Stevens is also known for his dissents in Texas v. Johnson, Bush v. Gore, D.C. v. Heller, and Citizens United v. FEC.