Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: July 16, 2019


7/16/2019: Justice John Paul Stevens died.

Justice John Paul Stevens

NEXT: Thursday Open Thread

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I didn’t agree with Ford often but he was correct when he said putting Stevens on the Court was the best thing he did as President.

  2. What is with all these posts on deaths of obscure justices?

    I bet plenty of important things happened today.

    1. This is a bad troll, Bob. You and I both know that Stevens is hardly “obscure” when it comes to Justices.

      1. He is just more recent.

        Many people can likely name Johnnie Manzel as the last Browns QB failure but not their 1970 draft failure.

        1. Yeah sure. He served 35 years. He wrote Chevron and Kelo which Adler and Somin write about practically every other day. Apprendi v. New Jersey significantly changed how criminal cases are conducted across the entire country. Atkins reformulated capital punishment. Massachusetts v. EPA significantly reshaped both standing and the government’s responsibility to address climate change. BMW v. Gore put constitutional limits on punitive damages. Clinton v. Jones was highly relevant to some recent Supreme Court decisions. Etc.

          1. Every justice has written important opinions. Almost all are still obscure.

            He left the court 10 years ago. In 1910 I bet lawyers could recall a justice who left in 1900. In 1930 most probably could not.

            Who remembers Lewis Powell these days?

            1. By this logic Scalia will be obscure in less than five years. So in a sense, every justice is obscure in the grand scheme of things. Just like Presidents, Popes, and Kings. But if we’re comparing him simply to other justices rather than the grand sweep of human history he isn’t obscure and likely won’t be comparatively obscure for awhile.

              1. “By this logic Scalia will be obscure in less than five years.”

                Probably. 10 for sure. His memory might linger a bit because he died while on the bench [and Garland!] but memory of public figures fades rapidly.

                1. Well then everyone is obscure so there is no point in picking out one as particularly obscure in a post about supreme history.

                  1. Tell that to CC. He’s the one that is constantly complaining.

                    1. Citation needed.

            2. Who remembers Lewis Powell these days?

              Lots of us.

        2. “Many people can likely name Johnnie Manzel as the last Browns QB failure but not their 1970 draft failure.”

          Mike Phipps?

  3. John Paul Stevens was an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from 1975 to 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.

Please to post comments