John Paul Stevens

Gun Control Can Survive the Supreme Court
December 28, 2012

Recent Second Amendment rulings are unlikely to stand in the way of sensible gun-control measures.

Is John Paul Stevens Right that Americans are Healthier than Ever?
July 08, 2011

91 year-old former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens thinks he may have “jumped the gun” on retirement—he says his mind and body are holding up just fine. A spry Stevens recently told an AARP reporter in a taped interview that he also thinks “because generally people remain healthier for a longer period of time, it would perhaps be appropriate to increase the retirement age under the Social Security law.” Picking up where Stevens left off, are Americans actually living healthier and longer lives than they used to? As it turns out, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

Confirmed Liberal
May 21, 2010

Soon after this magazine was founded, the editors joined with relish a fight over President Woodrow Wilson’s nomination of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Defending Brandeis against his Boston enemies—the financial oligarchs whom he had attacked in his book Other People’s Money—we championed his vision of liberal judicial restraint: namely, the view that courts should defer to progressive laws and regulations enacted by the states, Congress, and federal agencies.

Confirmed Liberal
May 20, 2010

Soon after this magazine was founded, the editors joined with relish a fight over President Woodrow Wilson’s nomination of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Defending Brandeis against his Boston enemies—the financial oligarchs whom he had attacked in his book Other People’s Money—we championed his vision of liberal judicial restraint: namely, the view that courts should defer to progressive laws and regulations enacted by the states, Congress, and federal agencies.

Blank Slate
May 08, 2010

Imagine a candidate for the U.S. Senate who has never taken a public stand on almost any policy issue. Imagine that her campaign consists of asking people for their support because, according to friends and colleagues, the candidate is smart, fair, and good to others. When her friends are asked what her views are on various political matters, they reply that they don't know—but that they're confident she'd make an excellent senator. This bizarre hypothetical closely resembles the actual campaign to put Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court.

People's Choice
May 07, 2010

As soon as Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he would leave the Supreme Court, President Obama and progressive groups said the next justice should be an economic populist.

First Principles
April 23, 2010

WASHINGTON—The genius of American conservatives over the last 30 years has been their understanding that the most effective way to change the country is to change the terms of our political debate. On issue after issue, they have done just that. Sensible regulation was cast as a dangerous quest for government control. Modest measures to alleviate poverty became schemes to lock the poor into "dependency." Advocates of social insurance were condemned as socialists.

Confirmation Politics
April 22, 2010

The most recent Quinnipiac survey provides an intriguing backdrop to President Obama’s impending Supreme Court nomination. Fifty-three percent of the respondents are very or somewhat confident that the president will make the right decision about who should replace Justice John Paul Stevens. At the same time, 42 percent expect that his nominee will be more liberal than they would like, versus only 8 percent who think the nominee won’t be liberal enough.

The Battle Over the Court
April 14, 2010

I. Moments after Justice John Paul Stevens announced his intention to retire from the Supreme Court, Republican senators warned President Barack Obama not to appoint a judicial activist to replace him. Senator Orrin Hatch promised Obama “a whale of a fight if he appoints an activist to the court” and Senator Mitch McConnell warned that “Americans can expect Senate Republicans to make a sustained and vigorous case for judicial restraint and the fundamental importance of an evenhanded reading of the law." But Hatch and McConnell’s definition of “judicial activism” is topsy-turvy.

The John Paul Stevens Myth
April 09, 2010

John Paul Stevens, as many suspected, is retiring from the Supreme Court. As it happens, Justin Driver has an assessment of Stevens in the latest issue of TNR. The article is subscriber-only, but that's a good reason to subscribe. Driver argues that Stevens, contrary to his own claims and the claims of his admirers, has actually moved clearly leftward during his tenure: Commentators have embraced Stevens’s preferred self-image, largely portraying him as an island of stasis amid a sea of dynamism.

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