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Supreme Court pays respect to late Justice Stevens

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 7/22/19, 02:03 pm

WASHINGTON—Supreme Court justices, joined by President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and other dignitaries, honored former Justice John Paul Stevens on Monday as his body lay in repose at the court. Stevens, a Supreme Court justice for almost 35 years after his nomination by President Gerald Ford in 1975, died at age 99 last week after a stroke.

Justice Elena Kagan, Stevens’ replacement after his retirement in 2010, praised her predecessor in a speech at the ceremony. “He was a brilliant man with extraordinary legal gifts and talents, which he combined with a deep devotion to the rule of law and a deep commitment to equal justice,” she said.

Besides Kagan, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito, and Sonia Sotomayor, and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy also attended the ceremony. Prior commitments kept the other justices from attending, according to a spokeswoman.

Stevens’ flag-draped casket sat in the court’s Great Hall. About 100 of Stevens’ clerks took turns watching over it during the public visitation.

The Trumps arrived a little later in the morning after the ceremony. They stood briefly before Stevens’ casket and portrait after Roberts greeted them. Stevens will be buried Tuesday in Arlington National Cemetery in a private ceremony.


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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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