tv Supreme Court Bar Memorial for Justice John Paul Stevens CSPAN May 3, 2022 4:57am-6:00am EDT
the memory of john paul stevens who served as associate justice of the supreme court from 1975 until 2010. in addition to his time on the court, justice stevens served his country as a judge on the united states court of appeals for the seventh circuit, at counsel to the house judiciary committee, and as a code breaker in the u.s. navy during world war ii. over decades on the bench he dedicated his life to the rule of law and to the judicial craft. he was a jurist to fearlessly exercise independent judgment, guided by experience and the essential values underlying the constitution and the american project. he was a person of integrity, blessed with a singular intellects, pragmatic temperament, humble nature, and generous soul. he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. a beloved colleague, and
inspiring mentor and an extraordinary figure in american law. the court in this nation are forever better for his service. and we all miss him greatly. i went today to express my appreciation to chief judge david barrett and teresa rose borough who cochaired the arrangements committee for this meeting and to the members of that committee. stuart baker, david to bruin, sarah eisenberg, jeff fisher, ian, judge pamela harris, justice leandra kruger, judge lewis lyman, nancy marder, judge randolph, judge allison jones rushing mason, paul, teresa reed dip oh, sloan, and douglas winslow. i also want to express my gratitude to jamaal greene and carol lee who cochaired the resolution committee to the
members of that committee, diane amon, christopher, daniel, jean, abner greene, johnson, detroit mackenzie, eduardo, deborah, george, adam, robert shapiro, kate shaw and sonya west. the meeting today will be chaired by chief justice barron and scott harris will be the secretary. i will now turn the podium and that meeting over too chief judge behrendt.
>> madame assistant general, chief justice, associate justices, members of the stevens family, mr. attorney general, members of the supreme court bar. it is a great honor to be with you all to remember a great man. but in saying that i cannot help but think it seems a misleading way to describe justice stevens. not because it's inaccurate but because it does not cap short what made him great. that description calls to mind an overpowering person, a larger-than-life person. but justice stevens a greatness, his gift, his example, his superpower showed that gentles has a power all its own and so too does humility. they were to that most comes to my mind when i think of him, and it has since i first met with him for my interview for clerkship is timelessness. time seems slower in his presence as if he had access to a longer timescale than most people do. a sense of the depth of time,
how long it runs back, and how far it will run into the future. and how important it is in making decisions of consequence that justice stevens said for all of his professional life to be aware of that timescale. he was a war hero, a pilot, a superstar law student, an accomplished tennis player, and i can attest from personal observation, and average golfer. [laughter] but he was in all respects a great person with his twinkle, his decency, his embodiment of the very best of our country just by being who he was, he had his own kind of overpowering presence in the way that gentleness and decency has a pair justice stevens was an absurdly confident and productive person did he write more separate opinions and any justice in the history of the court and he did it with the fewer clerks than he could have had and while writing the first draft of every opinion. he served on this court for more than three decades and then as
if that were not enough he upon his retirement became a review of books with an appearance on the report to boot. the appearance came complete with a perfect quip when asked by himself if there any decisions justice stevens regretted other than this interview the justice asked. [laughter] exit yes he replied. i do not think so justice stevens said. [laughter] he gave new meaning to lifelong learning into second acts. his last reunion with us was held at his second home in florida, his daughter, sue was there to accompany him as were members of his chamber staff and almost all of his law clerks numbering more than 100 strong including those who served with demo hits on the seventh circuit of the court he loved and he made sure we knew to respect. at his event we held a q&a with the justice he was by then
somewhat sank appearing his voice still with his beloved chicago and its and always soft was even softer then. but his mind was, as always sharp and his wit two. he had just written his third book. he was to be clear 99 years old at the time. the book ran more than 500 pages. but there was one passage in that book that warranted special inquiry. it was a portion of which he lavished praise on a particular group of people, his law clerks. this passage we all thought was of surpassing interest. [laughter] and it was a neat and intensive interrogation. just how great were we? what exactly were our greatest teachers? these were of course vary on steven like questions but in the moment we could be forgiven for has lost sight of his example and so we asked him, justice how did you go about choosing such a tremendously gifted group?
and here, 99 with a cane to assist and then walking the hearing a bit hard, the voice is soft but no less chicago and there was that twinkle in the perfectly stevens answer, case by case he said. [laughter] he knew what he was saying that he wanted us to know he was not a rules person, he was a case-by-case person a context person, a fax person a functionalist person, a note sugarless person a realist person, eight leon green rutledge person. one sentence, a few words and uphold philosophy of law and of life. actually half of a philosophy because he was saying in those a few words he was also in every person has that unique worth and every person deserves a fair shot person, an independent person a fair competition person. no one is above the law person, a respect everyone person and without saying it, he was also reminding us why he was a person
to treasure person. in the remarks you will now hear from four of his former clerks and one young accomplished lawyer who just also happens to be his granddaughter, we hope you will get a sense of what made him the great justice, the great judge, and the great person that he was and he remains to all of us. our first speaker will be the honorable damien williams whose united states attorney for the southern district of new york a new clerk for justice season the 2000 term. >> it is an honor to stand here
in this great hall and to eulogize a great man, justice john paul stevens. i have two tasks today, first i have been asked to speak as a representative of the law clerks from the justices of final years on the bench. and a second i have been asked to reflect on the principle, a principle that is stitched into the justices life and into his career in the law. that in this nation, the law is supreme and no one is above it. let's start with the light stuff. i clerked for the justice and a second to last year on the courtship. by that time he had seen the law from every conceivable angle. was a kid in chicago, he felt the jagged edge of the law when his father was wrongfully convicted of embezzlement. an experience that nearly ruined his family through and through.
he witnessed the loss of power to redeem in that same conviction was overturned on appeal. he fought for our loss in the pacific theater in world war ii. he hung a shingle and he practiced the law for years. he helped enforce the law when he investigated corruption in the illinois supreme court. and of course the help shape the law as a judge injustice on this court for decades. by the time we started our clerkship with justice stevens had seen it all, or so it seemed. now, this was 2008, the days of hope and change. a young lawyer from chicago had just been elected president at a future president had been elected vice president. now, one day at the justice walked into the clerk's office and he stood in the doorway. it became clear he was not there
to discuss a case, or similar legal issue that was on his mind. instead, he started telling us about something in the law that he had never done. he explained that by tradition the chief justice swears in the new president. but neither law or custom dictates who should swear in the new vice president. he explained that it all of his years on the bench, no one had asked him to swear in the new vice president. and then he turned and went back into his office. [laughter] we did not know what to do with that. [laughter] was in an offhand remark? was it a clue or a breadcrumb we were supposed to pick up and do something with? we did not know. but we, the law clerks decided all on our own that it was time for a little off the books activity. a scheme to get joe biden to ask
a justice stevens to swear him in. now, if you think i'm about to describe how our little conspiracy work and who joined it, you would be wrong. or quite wrong is just a stevens would have put it. let's just say a few weeks later the phone rang in chambers janice holly answered it, we were in the other room and could hear oh, it is joe biden on the phone. oh, he wants to speak with justice stevens, we waited. a few minutes later justice stevens walked back into the clerk's office, stood in the doorway and with a smile on his face said wouldn't you know, joe biden just called me and asked to swear him in as the next vice
president. and then he turned and went back into his office. he never asked us if we had a hand in that coming together. but if he had, we obviously, obviously would have pled the fifth. [laughter] okay, one more story. later in our clerkship the justice gathered the law clerks in the office to talk about hiring a new batch of law clerks. in the justice began to talk about the term and how it was going and how he felt he was doing. he told us that unlike prior years he was not planning on hiring his full complement of four law clerks and that instead he was going to hire just one. it was time. and even though we knew we were witnessing a significant moment in history, every think about it
was classic justice stevens. low-key, plainspoken, humble, even when closing the final chapter in his service to this nation, a body of service that consistently sought to preserve and protect the rule of law. now, the rule of law and the supremacy of the law were uncontested for much of the justices life. they were just assumed to be true. it animated so much of his personal story, his rise to this court, and his work on the court. and even though the justice passed away at less than three years ago, you cannot possibly measure the distance between then and now in years. so much has happened. so much is now up for debate.
and so much of that debate. for justice stevens january 6 was just a date. george floyd was just a name in another land war in europe was just inconceivable and on, and on, and on. i think we can all agree that justice john paul stevens was a man for all seasons but i often find myself wondering what he would make of this season. our nation stands on troubled soil today. that is a fact. and justice stevens did not believe in airbrushing facts, so let's not do that. i think we all know that before the justice passed, there was an urgency in his writings both in his dissent and final years on the bench.
and also some of the work he authored in retirement it was not an abandonment of hope, but instead a questioning of the durability of certain principles he thought were fundamental and true. i'm sure these past years would have upset him but still i do not think he would have given up hope. nor should we. because his life is all the testimony we need to know great things can grow from troubled soil. this was a man from chicago a city that is best known for its cubs and its corruption. this is a man whose family endured injustice in the great depression. this is a man who went to war to defend democracy and out of all of that, emerged the man who was chosen for the federal bench
because of his fierce, independence and integrity. i man who was chosen for this court because of his unimpeachable character. corruption, injustice, depression, war, watergate, these are not small things. these are not easy things. these are not happy things but they are the soil from which he grew. they explain him and how we as a nation got him. his personal story also explains his belief, a belief that ran bone deep that in this country the law is supreme and applies to all. the powerful and the powerless. rich and poor, friend and foe.
because of him, a president despite his high office is not immune from suit it is that same belief unshakable belief in the supremacy of the law and that no one is above it that led him to dislike official immunity of all sorts. especially the most notorious of them all, state sovereign immunity a doctor that he described as and i quote, the faintest of all legal fictions. he was firm in his view that some english common law principles did not make the trip across the atlantic. that is how he viewed this world as a justice it's also how he lived his life. gentle and kind to all, humble and unassuming with all. to borrow from kipling, he walked with kings and queens but never lost his common touch. this was a great man who was also a good man.
in talking about him makes me miss him even more and miss the days when we had him. and even though we cannot ask him what he would make of these days in these times, i am sure if he were here he would do what he did will be clerked for him and that was to first ask us what we think. and then he would listen patiently because he believed in us and was proud of us. the justices gone and the times, yes have changed. but these sturdy, stately, beautiful legacy that he built is still here. it is in this room it's in his granddaughter, hannah, it is in us. it is the life he breathed into law for a nation that he loved.
and i believe justice stevens would expect us the keepers of his legacy to forge ahead, to not lose faith and to summon our better angels. john paul stevens is and will always be one of those angels. >> thank you damien. our next speaker is professor eduardo posey president of seattle university and clerked for justice stevens and the 2000 term.
x good law clerks pay close attention to their justices passion. as a stevens clerk and the 2000 term i quickly learned about several things the justice held dear. one, was golf. he loves all sports to be sure especially his cubbies. but golf held a special place in justice stevens hartford he was devoted some might even say a little obsessive follower of professional golf. during our term at the court computer terminals were not connected to the internet, security reasons i guess. each of us had a single internet enabled computer if you wanted to use the internet you had to go to that machine for my kids are watching online and talk about the dark ages before smartphones and streaming video.
one of my regular duties as a law clerk was to lock onto that internet commute every few days to check on justice stevens fantasy golf standing. [laughter] justice stevens also loved playing golf. monday morning chambers often begin with the justice offering self-deprecating accounts of his weekend golf exploits. justice did not define his call for weekends or golf course. once my walked in on justice stevens and justice o'connor on the practice during the justice cap conveniently inside his office. in a more serious vein, another passion of justice stevens was fairness. antitrust lawyer he had a deep respect for the power of competition to drive innovation and despite being a fierce although always good-natured competitor or perhaps precisely because of that, he richly appreciated the importance of level playing field to provide everyone with the opportunity to
compete. there's one final thing i will mention that justice stevens loved, it quickly became apparent to me and to make coke clerks that justice stevens plainly for the justice might have said lucidly relish just sync with justice scalia. although both men possess singularly brilliant legal minds a personal intellectual styles could not have been more divergent. their footnote battles were the stuff of legends. one of the many issues at which they found themselves in profound disagreement was the very meaning of fairness itself. for justice goalie of the central attribute of fairness was always formal equal treatment. for justice stevens in contrast fairness was a complex and contextual concepts resistant to richard characterizations on questions ranging from affirmative action to criminal justice to antitrust law, justice stevens favored accounts
of fairness that afforded decision-makers the discretion to depart from strictly equal treatment in the service of a more substantive kind of fairness. flexibility and above all judgment. those were essential for fairness in his sense. telling me one of justice stevens trademark adjectives for decision-making found to fall short in this regard was to call it wooded. so if a case combined questions about fairness and equal treatment, compelling the subject matter and justice scalia on the other side, justice stevens was sure to be fully engaged. and so i would like to spend the rest of my brief remarks this afternoon talk about a blockbuster case and the two term that scored that particular hat trick. no, not that case. we are not supposed to cite that one. [laughter] the case i have in mind is a pga tour versus martin. casey martin was a professional
golfer's office in a rare circulatory disorder that obstructs the flow of blood in his right leg and for martin, walking creates the risk of hemorrhaging, blood clots or worse. in college and competition to qualify for the pga tour, he was glad to see golf cart. when he earned a spot on the pga tour he asked for permission to continue doing so, something that is allowed by the rules of the game of golf but not by the pga special rule of governing professional tournament. the pga refused arguing that waving the so-called walking rule would fundamentally alter the nature of the tournament play and give martin an unfair advantage since walking injected the factor of fatigue. and they pga competition for its out martin suit under the americans disabilities act district court ruled in his favor the ninth circuit agreed the petition presented fact bound, no circuit splits of the clerks were a little bit caught off guard when the supreme court
granted. when my coke clerks, joe tiant and he asked us to stevens about it, he explained that sometimes the court needs to take a case just because it is fun. [laughter] to make up for all of the rhythmic cases. [laughter] ultimately, seven justices cited with march with only justice scalia and thomas disintegrate when the chief justice assigned the majority opinion that justice stevens, he was a positively giddy. fairness, golf, and scalia and dissent the trifecta. [laughter] i can imagine no case more perfectly designed to bring out the essential elements of justice stevens approach to fairness and to judicial decision-making. justice stevens opinion for the court was a trademark gpf. he began with a careful textual analysis of the ada including a reference to congress brought intense enacting the statute and the legislative history.
one purpose of the ada he observed was to force the reevaluation of long-standing practices have the effect of excluding disabled people went reasonable accommodations would prevent that. fairness requires source of individualized determinations not reflective references to the way things have always been done. and, as usual justice stevens took extremely seriously the trial court's factual finding. particulates fighting the fatigue marketed doris and playing with his disability even while riding in a golf cart was undeniably greater than the fatigue and other competitors experience from walking the course. this meant marchand drive no competitive advantage of the requested accommodation even on the pgas account of the reasons behind the walking rule. but to my mind, the persuasive part of justice opinion as to take them of the notion that walking or physical exertion isn't any sense sense essential to the game of golf. even at the professional level. the golf he explained is a low
intensity activity. [laughter] but not content with simply saying for many of us is the obvious he observed that the average golfer expense of fewer than 500 calories walking 18 hole course, pointing out even that minimal exertion is spread over a five hour. that includes many opportunities for rest and refreshment. finally, justice stevens took note of the many exceptions the pga arctic made to the walking role. qualified play but also professional play when necessary for logistical reasons. and given this overall context, refusing to allow casey martin to write in the golf cart was the antithesis of fairness it represented the kind of rigid and exclusionary insistence on formal equal treatment for no good reason that the ada was designed to prevent. now, for justice scalia and dissent, the case was an easy one. the very nature of competitive sports he said is the measurement by uniform rule of unevenly distributed excellence.
this unequal distribution is precisely what determines winners and losers. and artificially to even out the distribution is to destroy the game. of course, we know from countless other cases and from their extramural writings that this conflict between justice stevens contextual approach to fairness and justice goalie is rigid insistence on equal treatment was not merely disagreement about fairness in the game of golf. it reflected a far more fundamental disagreement about what constitute fairness in the game of life. pga versus martin exemplified justice stevens passion for fairness as well as his appreciation of context, his comfort with complexity and his respect for the virtue of judgment. he was also a fun case about golf. it was justice stevens at his very finest. we miss him.
>> and thank you. our next speaker is the honorable coreen beckwith who is a judge of the district of columbia court of appeals and clerked for justice stevens in the 1993 term. >> hi everyone this is weird i feel like i should unmute myself or something. unmute myself. it is hard to even begin to capture justice stevens in a few
words. mike cope clerk and lifelong friend sean donahue, during an interview on c-span once tried. he called him a quote deeply curious person. the phrase that perhaps raises more questions and answers for you but i would like to focus on to something of keen interest to me as i striped and every day fail to come close to the example justice stevens set. that is justice stevens take on what it means to be a judge. he had strong feelings on the subject at a deep respect for the role of judges. justice stevens wanted the public to have confidence in the evenhandedness of the courts. he cared about transparency. he cared and made sure we cared about process. and beyond perception he cared about getting it right. too that and he was unwaveringly open-minded. he wanted to consider a range of
views including for some reason, hours. in soliciting those views justice stevens put people at ease. which was great if you happen to be completely in awe of the large marble building you worked in and intimidated by most of the people in it. when justice stevens asked us questions about the cases we were preparing, he would often preface it basic if you know. it was fine if we didn't but of course will quickly figure it out. for someone who cracked enemy military codes and won a bronze star and sat on the supreme court of the united states, he was remarkably down-to-earth, easy to talk to, straightforward trade when i interviewed with them for the clerkship, he confused me greatly by informing me near the end of the interview that however things turned out, i'd like you. [laughter]
unfairly of this forthrightness is absolutely certain that meant i was not getting the job. i remember justice stevens going to amazing lengths to reserve judgment on the issues in a case until he had read everything and heard oral arguments. on one occasion he reprimanded one of us, okay it was me, when we mentioned that the group of the law clerks that got together to discuss the case that was coming up for argument, all of them had the same view of the threshold issue in the case. turns out justice stevens definitely did not want to know that. he did not want to be swayed. writing his own first draft and staying out were also ways of preserving the independence that he viewed as so imperative. the clearest manifestation of his independence was his attention for writing separately. we all have our favorite stevens
concurrences and dissents. but one of mine perhaps in part because of my prior life as a public defender before he became a judge is his account versus whitley. there, the court house five -- four immense conviction and death sentence should be vacated with a cumulative effect of the government's violation of brady versus maryland might well have been outcome determinative. justice scalia wrote searing dissent arguing the case was to fact found to even warranted the courts review in the first place. justice stevens and joined the majority but he wrote separately to respond to justice scalia, as he loves to do. but stands out about his concurrence to me was his insistence that there are times that evening have to delve into the dusty record boxes and decide something inherently factual like whether the suppression of evidence made a
difference at a trial. justice stevens took that deep dive and based on his quote independent review of the case, a case where brady violations were repeated and flagrant, with the jury is the trailhead deadlocked he had serious doubts. he did not think he was doing anything extraordinary he simply thought it was his job. he wrote that our duty to administer justice occasionally requires busy judges to engage in a detailed review of the particular facts of the case. even though our labors may not provide prosperity with the newly minted rule of law. particularly given the popularity of capitol punishment he concluded, i cannot agree that a position in the judicial hierarchy makes such review inappropriate. sometimes the performance of an unpleasant duty conveys a message more significant than
even the most penetrating legal analysis. the flip side of justice stevens a broad view of the supreme court's own rule and correcting errors that within the court's, is his insistence that the court not overextend its reits to issues not within its purview. for example, i didn't get the memo we were this was a badge of this name and bush versus, in defending the florida supreme court own interpretation of the state legislature's intent that selection will justice stevens rejected what he saw as the unstated lack of confidence in the impartiality and capacity of a state judges who would make more critical decisions were to proceed. such an confidence in courts of the people who ran them was, he wrote, the true backbone of the rule of law. and he of course ended on a
weighty note he said 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. is the nation's competence and the judge as an impartial guardian and public rule of law. again was perfectly clear to justice stevens the florida supreme court did simply what courts do. i would like to end with a quote from another native son of illinois, the poet carl sandberg exactly 100 years ago, this month, but his poem washington monument at night, sandberg wrote this line. the republic is a dream, nothing happens unless first a dream. the recent justice stevens had respect for the rule of law and for the role of the judge, is not that he believed our legal institutions were perfect or even highly functional. it is that he knew these
institutions, like the republic itself, or capable of being great and were worth fighting for the couldn't agree more with damien if he were to honor justice stevens legacy we will continue that work ourselves selves. >> thank you. our next speaker skip all his senior pfizer and centerview partners in a clerk for justice stevens in the 1975 term, the justices first. >> good afternoon.
i feel is is important to correct the record. chief judge of barron mentioned something about justice stevens golf abilities. i have played a lot of golf in my life. but the last game i played with justice stevens, in fact the last of his life, was by far the best game, the best performance by a golfer at the age of 99 i have ever seen. [laughter] now to turn the clock back a bit, late morning on the friday after thanksgiving in 1975 the chicago federal courthouse was closed. judges stevens, my coworker and i were catching up on some backlog when the phone rang interrupting our work. it was president ford calling to inform judge stevens that he was announcing the nomination of the supreme court later that afternoon. the judge stepped into our office the clerk's office, told us the exciting news and said it
was to be strictly confidential until late that afternoon. however, he was going to spend some time taking a walk around chicago starting down by the art institute. charges stevens mind most of been full of chicago memories as he headed out of the federal building walking down to the lakefront. in reflection back on the chicago skyline, he would remember his years of chicago education from his grade school and undergraduate home at the university of chicago through northwestern law school. also in that downtown skyline he would see the location of the investigation of the illinois supreme court led by him as a private citizen. this investigation resulted in the removal of two justices from that court. it's a bold result. stevens deep belief the justice system depends on lawyers serving the public interest in an independent and nonpartisan
way. the investigation of public service propelled the lawyer, john paul stevens, to an appointment on the circuit. hopefully on that walk whose joy was not broken and his memories were not turned sour by his eyes look into the western horizon and the skies above wrigley field the home of his beloved cubs with the realization he would be leaving them. just three weeks after that walk, he would be confirmed unanimously by the senate. six weeks after that call from president ford, nellie pitts and i were here in washington moving into the new chambers with a stack of work to do, aided by the edition of a new coat clerk who joined us from justice douglas chambers. the warm welcome for justice stevens was actually welcome back was a welcome back to the rutledge clerk returning from
the 1947 term, his clerkship and close relationship with justice rutledge a former law school dean, form the foundation and the fabric of stevens priority on his own mentorship of his clerks. after my clerkship, i practice law for a short time but then as justice stevens repeatedly told me i strayed from the law and went into a career in the entertainment business, something, a risk he should have known and a law clerk from los angeles. but all through the 40 years after my clerkship i never made an important life decision, important business decision without his thoughtful and caring advice. one funny thing always happened when i came here for that advice, regardless of my age i was in my 40s, 50s, 60s, little older than that now, once sitting in his chambers asking for the advice the conversation started i became a 25-year-old law clerk. when stevens became the boss.
time stood still in this mentorship. after 20 years on the court, justice stevens began a discussion with some of his former clerks about his own legacy. his thinking and direction were classic stevens guided by humility, dedication a public interest and a belief in mentorship. the stevens public interest fellowships were launched at northwestern in 1996. initially funded by clerks and a first expanded into law schools where clerks were on faculty that we could guide the evolution of the model. when justice stevens retired in 2010, the stevens foundation was formed to expand the existing public interest program. to date, 788 fellowships have been granted and the foundations operating in 40 law schools.
fellowships encourages and supports the law students to pursue work in public interest. this summer there will be 150 stevens public interest fellows in law schools. after graduation the track record of the stevens of fellows going into and pursuing careers in public interest is 74%. in the stevens fellowships presently are the second-largest summer public public interest fellowship programs in the country. the stevens fellows have become the next generation, an extension of the stevens clerk family. his gift to us of mentor ship has produced a legacy of mentorship. and a shared dedication to the importance of supporting young lawyers and pursuing careers in public interest. one thing has become clear, as with justice stevens own appointments his stevens clerkship is for a lifetime, thank you.
>> skip just remind me i'm was wrong as i was coming up here but let the record reflect he was a better than average golfer. [laughter] thank you skip it. our next speaker is hannah with the clinical fellow at georgetown university law center justice stevens granddaughter. >> good afternoon. as have been mentioned in the sixth of justice stevens is nine grandchildren and perhaps the only one foolish enough or lucky enough to follow him into the
law. my grandfather was a great justice and a great person. and he was also the greatest grandpa in the world. he was a fun, in florida he swam ocean and built sand castles with us. we faced off her of playing board games, trading victories in scrabble and backgammon until my mother begged us to come to dinner, the food was getting cold. grandpa loved us and he showed it. he brought my sister and meet sugar cookies from our favorite bakery. he was a patron of her elementary school chorus concert. he is being met his old timing grandpa isms like isn't that something went one of us brought home a good report card or one a lacrosse championship. grandpa treated his grandchildren as his intellectual and athletic equals. it sounds ridiculous but it is true. he would gloat after hitting cross table forehands and ping-pong. before a backpacking trip i took as a teenager, he gave me a copy
of sense and sensibility so we could discuss it when i return from the woods. [laughter] i think he was disappointed jane austin was not for me. [laughter] when i enrolled in law school, grandpa began giving me law review articles to read so we could talk about them over his morning cup of coffee. those articles were often written by his former clerks, he was so proud of all of you, he likes reading jane austin but not nearly as much as he liked reading you all. and grandpa did not hold sports during her intraregional book club he asked what i thought and listen even though i knew so little. is the most brilliant person i ever met and yet he could make the people around him feel brighter, better than denver in his presence premise grandpa every day. but since graduating from law school and becoming a civil rights lawyer, i have had the strange privilege of becoming more familiar with a different side of the man i knew and loved.
the jurist justice stevens. every time i read one of justice stevens opinions, i see another thing that i left about my grandpa. for example, as is already been discussed, my grandfather is well known for his attention to the record in each individual case. he is described as a judges judge who looks in each case on its merits. grandpa sweated the small stuff off the bench to prehuman with member the names of my elementary school classmates. he kept a strawberry ice cream in his freezer though that my sister, who did not share his love of chocolate would always have a dessert she enjoyed. it is easy but for grandpa attention to detail was a form of love. of seeing what was distinct about a person and their circumstances. it made him friends everywhere he went, even among people who disagreed with him. so i smiled knowingly when a written opinion at grandpa's partial concurrence in illinois a fourth a mimic case that ask
whether someone's unprovoked flight from police was sufficiently suspicious to justify a stop. in his separate opinion, grandpa praise the majority for objective —-dash objecting a per se rule and explains why he believed the facts in that case did not support a finding of reasonable suspicion. i admire grandpa's opinion and would love because he took special care to explain different people may react to police differently. even when they are not doing anything wrong. he pointed out that innocent people, depending upon their circumstances could reasonably view police as a sign danger is near or perhaps even fear the police themselves. the fact each individual case should determine whether reasonable suspicion existed. i am similarly filled with nostalgia when it read one of grandpa's many separate solo opinions and personal favorite is his dissent you're looking
for some light reading later. grandpa did with what he thought was right even when most other people thought he was wrong. i mean, the got a apple pie for breakfast anymore bowties to work he was not afraid of standing out in a crowd. and he was not afraid of speaking his mind either. anyone who has written a college thesis knows how it feels have your whole family praise you for something they are probably not going to read. grandpa, on the other hand, read all 30,000 words of my senior thesis and then told me why he thought i was wrong. [laughter] i have never felt more kinship with justice scalia than in that moment. [laughter] and being fully himself, he showed us that we can be ourselves too. the reason i love grandpa's opinions is because they showed he was the same man on the bench and at the coffee table. tenacious, empathetic observant and funny. his belief and spirited competition between equals was what made.
he strove to see each person and their circumstances as unique. viewing him with instinctive for the underdog. when it advocate for my clients, i often find myself siding my grandfather's opinions. i think that is the best way we can honor him by using his words to try to do good. and i am moved to the generations lawyers will continue to get to know him and inevitably come to love him through the words he left behind. i hope we make him proud. >> thank you hannah. like to invite teresa when roseburg was general counsel for the home depot who clerked for justice stevens and 1987 term, to join me too move the adoption of the resolutions to be
presented to the court. >> thank you david. thank you to all that you'll just have spoken today. as you have gleaned from their remarks, justice stevens was a remarkable man and a remarkable jurist. all of us, even if he had not been a justice of the united states supreme court, would have been just as proud to work for him and would have been just as enriched by his intellect, his professionalism, his love for his country and its constitution, the sense of fairness. his devotion to the protection of liberty, his gentle good humor and his humility. justice stevens was a patriot and a guardian. having meritorious lee served this country in war he possessed a special regard for what this nation stands for.
as navy chaplin captain judy who is here with us today, said in honoring the justice as he lay in repose in this hall, he was indeed a great man from our greatest generation. who faithfully answer the call to serve our country when we, the people, needed him most. texas famously dissented from the court striking down a texas statute barring desecration of the flag but he said the american flag is more than a proud symbol of the courage, the determination and the gifts of nature that transform lurching fledging college while colonies into a world power it's a symbol of freedom, of equal opportunity, of religious tolerance, and goodwill. this statement reflects justice
stevens deep devotion to this country as itself a beacon of freedom. equal opportunity, religious tolerance, and goodwill. it was not the flag alone at this country he could not bear to see desecrated. justice stevens was resolute and brave going without fear or restraint were facts and law led him. with no ambition to tilt the scale to suit his and or to incline future decisions to his pleasure or preferences. for this reason he has proved the conundrum for constitutional scholars who fought unsuccessfully to identify rides of ideology that would have allowed a successful prediction of how he might decide a particular case or type of case. that may be justice stevens will face history as an enigma and defy any. i believe though his record of dedicated and faithful service to this nation and its rule of
law will force us to create a new category, not liberal, not conservative but simply impartial. the committee on resolutions has prepared resolution summarizing justice stevens many contributions to this nation and its laws. and you have his work before you. together, with the committee's cochairs, joe magritte and carol lee, i have the honor to move their adoption. >> thank you therese of the resolutions are now before us for adoption. if adopted the be presented to the court by the social general. i now put the resolutions to a vote. all in favor of adopting the resolution please signify. any opposed? no one is opposed? hearing no opposition i declare the resolution adopted and this
completes our work here. i want to say in closing justice seems association with the sick court postdates world war ii when first he served as a law clerk to justice rutledge. spans of time he argued here is a leading lawyer in chicago and includes of course the time he first took the bench year as a justice in 1975 and all the ensuing three plus decades that followed. it was always an institution that he admired and cherished and we in turn admired and cherished habit. before we proceed to the court session i would like to thank counsel joe chief justice, jeffrey, marshall gale clerk scott harris, the court officer colleagues and their staff for helping us with this very meaningful proceeding, thank you.
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