Stevens, John Paul (1920-)

John Paul Stevens was appointed as associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Gerald Ford in 1975. Although nominally a Republican, Stevens brought with him a reputation as a political moderate. On the Court, he demonstrated an independent streak, tending to be a pragmatic jurist who reached decisions on narrow factual and legal grounds rather than advocating a particular judicial philosophy. However, in recent years, as the Court has moved more to the right, Justice Stevens has frequently voted as a liberal in cases affecting education law.

Early Years

Stevens was born into a wealthy family in Chicago, Illinois, on April 10, 1920. His father owned the Stevens Hotel, which today is the Chicago Hilton. As a child, he grew up in a residential area ...

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