FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died after suffering a stroke.

The 99-year-old passed away at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale.

In 1975 President Gerald Ford chose Stevens for the Supreme Court.

Stevens joined the Supreme Court as a registered Republican with a moderately conservative record. His political leanings were first shaped by a privileged upbringing in Chicago. He served in World War two before launching his legal career.

Stevens was part of the court’s right wing at the time, but as the panel grew more conservative, he shifted to the left. He never called himself a liberal but became leader of the court’s liberal wing. I

In 2000 Stevens disagreed with the decision to halt the Florida vote recount in the Bush versus Gore presidential race.

He was deeply opposed to the Citizens United decision, which removed restrictions on corporate spending in politics. He supported affirmative action and voted to uphold the Roe versus Wade decision, legalizing abortion. And he believed the death penalty amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

Stevens retired in 2010. His 34 years on the bench made him one of the longest-serving Supreme Court justices in history.

“On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice John Paul Stevens has passed away. A son of the Midwest heartland and a veteran of World War II, Justice Stevens devoted his long life to public service, including 35 years on the Supreme Court. He brought to our
bench an inimitable blend of kindness, humility, wisdom, and independence. His unrelenting commitment to justice has left us a better nation. We extend our deepest condolences to his children Elizabeth and Susan, and to his extended family.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.

Stevens is expected to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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