Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died at the age of 99, on the afternoon of July 16, following complications from a stroke he suffered the day prior. Stevens was appointed to the nation’s highest court in 1975 by Republican President Gerald Ford and retired in 2010.
Stevens was born in Chicago in 1920, and he won a bronze star for his service as a navy codebreaker in World War II. He began practicing law in 1949 and served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1970 to 1975. Though he was appointed by a Republican president, Stevens made a name for himself as the senior member of the court’s liberal wing during his 34-year tenure.
Regrettably, Stevens consistently promoted elective abortions and played a crucial role in the 5-4 majority in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the case which upheld Roe v. Wade (1973) and cut several state-level abortion regulations. He also voted against a state law requiring minors to receive parental consent for elective abortions in Bellotti v. Baird (1979) and struck down a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortion in Stenberg v. Carhart (2000).
He retired in 2010 and was replaced by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an even more radically anti-Life activist judge.
Stevens is survived by his daughters, Elizabeth Jane Sesemann and Susan Roberta Mullen, as well as his nine grandchildren: Kathryn, Christine, Edward, Susan, Lauren, John, Madison, Hannah, Haley, and his 13 great-grandchildren. We pray that God’s peace be upon Stevens’ family in this time of grief.