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John Paul Stevens was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Gerald Ford, a Republican. Justice Stevens became a leader of the left wing of the court, and did not retire until a suitably leftist president could name his successor. In 2010, Stevens retired, allowing President Obama to select his replacement, Elena Kagan. Age 90 at his retirement, Stevens enjoyed nine years of retirement before his passing on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
The New York Times is praising Stevens in its obituary, written entirely positively by Linda Greenhouse. Writing on the Supreme Court for 40 years, until retiring in 2008, she was credited with shifting Republican appointees left by her writing at the paper, created what has been called “the Greenhouse Effect.” She praises this Republican appointee for going all the way her way. Read her article and you will glimpse what an unaccountable official in black robes can do over a lifetime.