Justice John Paul Stevens Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
Associate Justice John Paul Stevens received the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week. The Medal of Freedom is the Nation's highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. President Barack Obama presented the Medal to Stevens and twelve other recipients during a May 29th White House ceremony.
Stevens served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010, when he retired as the third longest-serving Justice in the Court's history.
In announcing Stevens honor, the White House said: "Known for his independent, pragmatic and rigorous approach to judging, Justice Stevens and his work have left a lasting imprint on the law in areas such as civil rights, the First Amendment, the death penalty, administrative law, and the separation of powers."
From 1970–1975, Stevens served as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. President Ford nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat December 19, 1975. Justice Stevens retired from the Supreme Court on June 29, 2010.