John Paul Stevens

John Paul Stevens

Associate Justice

Judicial Offices:
John Paul Stevens was nominated by President Nixon to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and confirmed by the United States Senate on October 14, 1970. He took an oath of office on November 2, 1970 and served until 1975, when appointed as Associate Justice. Nominated by President Ford as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on December 1, 1975; confirmed by the United States Senate on December 17, 1975 by a 98-0 vote. He took an oath of office on December 19, 1975.

John Paul Stevens was born on April 20, 1920 in Chicago, Illinois as the youngest of four sons to Ernest James and Elizabeth Street. Stevens married Elizabeth Jane Sheeren in June 1942 and remarried Maryan Mulholland Simon in December 1979. He has five children: John Joseph, Kathryn Stevens Jedlicka, Elizabeth Jane and Susan Roberta. He is currently the most senior associate justice on the Supreme Court today.

Elementary and preparatory schools: University of Chicago Laboratory School. Following his graduation from High School, he continued his studies at the University of Chicago, earning an A.B. in English Literature 1941, joining the Psi Upsilon fraternity and graduating Phi Beta Kappa. For law school, Stevens attended Northwestern University, graduating, magna cum laude, the first in class in 1947. He received the highest grades in the law school's history and distinguished himself by becoming editor in chief of the Illinois Law Review, a member of the Order of the Coif and a member of Phi Delta Phi.

Law Clerkship:
Upon graduation from NWU, he served one term as a law clerk to the Honorable Wiley Rutledge of the United States Supreme Court in 1947-1948. Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, October 1947-July 1948.

Law Practice:
Stevens was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1949, was an Associate for Poppenhusen, Johnston, Thompson and Raymond in Chicago, Illinois from 1950 until 1952, and a Partner for Rothschild, Stevens, Barry and Myers in Chicago, Illinois (1952-70). He quickly established a respectable reputation as a talented antitrust lawyer.

Law Teaching:
Lecturer of Antitrust Law at Northwestern University School of Law 1950-1954 and professor at the University of Chicago Law School, 1955-1958.

Bar Association Memberships: Stevens as a member of the Illinois Bar Association; Chicago Bar Association (2nd Vice President when appointed to Bench; he served as Chairman of the Antitrust Law Committee, on the Committee of Judicial Candidates and the Committee on the Judiciary; and he also served as a member of the Board of Managers); Federal Bar Association: American Law Institute. American Judicature Society.

Other Assignments:
Stevens served as the Associate Counsel of the Subcommittee on The Study of Monopoly Power Committee on the Judiciary with the United States House of Representatives (1951-52). He was also a member of the Attorney General's National Committee to Study Antitrust Laws (1953-55), Chief Counsel to the Special Commission appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to investigate integrity of the judgment of People v. Isaacs in 1969, a member of Faculty and the Salzburg Seminar In American Studies in July 1978 and served at the Appellate Judges Seminar at the New York University School of Law in July 1979.

Military Service:
Stevens was part of a code-cracking team with the United States Navy from 1942-1945, where he earned a Bronze Star.

Legal Writings: "Mr. Justice Rutledge" by John Paul Stevens, Chapter in book entitled Mr. Justice edited by Dunham and Kurland; Monopoly or Monopolization--A Reply to Professor Rostow by Edward R. Johnston and John Paul Stevens, 44 Ill. L. Rev. 269; Defense of Meeting the Lower Price of a Competitor by John Paul Stevens, 1953 Summer Institute on Federal Antitrust Laws, University of Michigan Law School; Tying Arrangements by John Paul Stevens, Conference on the Antitrust Laws and the Attorney General's Committee Report, p. 135; The Regulation of Railroads by John Paul Stevens, Vol. 19, p. 355, Proceedings of A.B.A. Section of Antitrust Law; Effect on Competition Under the Robinson Patman Act by John Paul Stevens, Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, p. 31; Contributor to Antitrust Developments--1955-1968, a Supplement to Report of the Attorney General's National Committee to Study the Antitrust Laws; "Cost Justification" by John Paul Stevens, Antitrust Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 3, p. 413 (1963); "The Office of an Office" by John Paul Stevens, The Chicago Bar Record (May-June Issue 1974); "Some Thoughts and Reflections on the Litigation Explosion and How it Has Affected the Court's Ability to Cope With the Problem" by John Paul Stevens, 65 Illinois Bar Journal 508 (1977); "Some Thoughts About a General Rule" by John Paul Stevens, 21 Ariz. L. Rev. 599 (1980); "Some Thoughts on Judicial Restraint" by John Paul Stevens, 66 Judicature 177 (1982); The James Madison 1982 Lecture: "The Life Span of a Judge-Made Rule," 58 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1 (1983); "Introductory Comment" by John Paul Stevens, 75 Northwestern Univ. L. Rev. 977 (Feb. 1981); "Reflections on the Removal of Sitting Judges" by John Paul Stevens, XIII Stetson L. Rev. 215 (Winter 1984); "Justice John Paul Stevens Speaks at Constitution Day Program" by John Paul Stevens, State of the Union, Union League Club of Chicago, Nov. 1984, p. 6; "Judicial Restraint" by John Paul Stevens, 22 San Diego L. Rev. 437 (May/June 1985); "Professor Edward H. Levi" by John Paul Stevens, 52 Univ. of Chicago L. Rev. 290 (Spring 1985); "Legal Questions in Perspective" by John Paul Stevens, 13 Florida State Univ. L. Rev. 1 (Spring 1985); "Addresses--Construing the Constitution" in part by John Paul Stevens, Original Address at Luncheon Meeting of the Federal Bar Association, 19 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1 (Fall 1985); "The Third Branch of Liberty" by John Paul Stevens, Second Robert B. Cole Lecture, 41 Univ. of Miami L. Rev. 277, (Dec. 1986); "Remarks on the U.S. Supreme Court--Its Work, Its Workload, and the Appropriate Scope of Its Work" by John Paul Stevens, Oct. 1985 address to the FBA's Chicago Chapter, Federal Bar News & Journal, Vol. 33, No. 3, March 1986, p. 109; "Address of Justice John Paul Stevens" by John Paul Stevens, 9 Univ. of Hawaii 1 (Summer 1987); "A Judge's Use of History" by John Paul Stevens, The First Thomas E. Fairchild Lecture, Sept. 9, 1988, An Occasional Paper from the Univ. of Wisconsin Law School

John P. Stevens enjoys golf, tennis, flying, bridge, reading and traveling.


More Biographical Information:

  • John Paul Stevens From the Oyez Project (Northwestern University).
  • John Paul Stevens From the Supreme Court History Society.
  • Judges of the United States Courts From the Federal Judicial Center
  • Justice Stevens From the Legal Information Institute (Cornell University).
  • The Justices of the Supreme Court From the U.S. Supreme Court. In Adobe PDF format.
  • Stevens, John Paul From Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  • The President's Choice, John Paul Stevens From the New York Times. (Registration Required)

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