John Paul Stevens

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Justice John Paul Stevens

Justice John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is an American jurist who has been a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice since 1975; he is the oldest justice on the court.

Stevens was born in Chicago, Illinois. He married Maryan Mulholland, and has four children: John Joseph (deceased), Kathryn, Elizabeth Jane, and Susan Roberta. He received an A.B. from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. He served in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1945 as an intelligence officer, and was awarded a Bronze Star. He was a law clerk to Justice Wiley Rutledge of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1947 Term. He was admitted to law practice in Illinois in 1949. He was Associate Counsel to the Subcommittee on the Study of Monopoly Power of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1951-1952, and a member of the Attorney General's National Committee to Study Antitrust Law, 1953-1955. He was Second Vice President of the Chicago Bar Association in 1970. From November 2, 1970 to 1975, he served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, nominated by President Nixon. President Ford then nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat December 19, 1975.

Early in his tenure Stevens took a moderate path, voting to reinstate capital punishment in the United States and opposing the affirmative action program at issue in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. On the more conservative Rehnquist Court, Stevens has tended to side with the more liberal-leaning Justices on issues such as abortion rights and federalism. Over the years, Stevens gradually recanted his opposition to affirmative action, and voted to uphold the affirmative action programs challenged at the University of Michigan in 2003's Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger.

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Preceded by:
William O. Douglas
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
December 19, 1975 – present (a)
Succeeded by:

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