John Paul Stevens to lie in repose at Supreme Court before Arlington National Cemetery burial

John Paul Stevens poses for his official Supreme Court portrait in 1976.


By ROBERT BARNES | Washington Post | Published: July 22, 2019

WASHINGTON The body of retired justice John Paul Stevens will lie in repose Monday in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court, where he served for nearly 35 years. The court will be open for the public to pay respects.

Stevens, a leader of the court's liberal wing, died July 16 at age 99 after having a stroke the day before at his home in Florida.

The casket bearing Stevens was scheduled to arrive just before 9:30 Monday morning, according to the court's public information office.

Supreme Court police officers will serve as pallbearers, and carry the casket up the court's famous steps to its Great Hall. Stevens's former clerks he had about 125 during his long career will serve as honorary pallbearers and stand with their former boss throughout the day.

The casket will rest on the Lincoln Catafalque, which Congress has lent for the ceremony. A 1991 portrait of Stevens by James Ingwersen will be on display in the Great Hall.

A private ceremony will be held in the hall with Supreme Court justices and family members, and the doors will open to the public about 10:30 a.m. The court said it will be open to the public until 8 p.m.

The court's last ceremony honoring a deceased colleague was in 2016, following the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Stevens will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, following a private funeral.

Stevens was a moderate Republican lawyer from the Midwest who was selected for the federal bench by President Richard M. Nixon, and elevated to the Supreme Court by President Gerald R. Ford.

The only justices who served longer than him were William O. Douglas, whom Stevens replaced in 1975, and Stephen J. Field, a nominee of President Abraham Lincoln who served for much of the late 19th century.

During his tenure, Stevens became a leader of the court's left, and wrote the court's opinions in landmark cases involving government regulation, the death penalty, criminal law, intellectual property and civil liberties. He wrote notable dissents to the court's Bush v. Gore ruling in 2000, and to its decision saying the Second Amendment guaranteed a right to gun ownership unrelated to military service.

Stevens joined the Navy as an intelligence officer on Dec. 6, 1941 the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked. He would later serve there during World War II, and was awarded a Bronze Star for his work at as code breaker, studying Japanese communications to find patterns that helped identify or locate enemy forces.

President Barack Obama awarded Stevens the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. Obama also had selected Stevens's replacement, Justice Elena Kagan, after Stevens retired in 2010.

In retirement, Stevens wrote three books, including a memoir released in May, "The Making of a Justice."

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