Iowa senators react to Stephens’ retirement

U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is retiring.  Iowa’s two U.S. senators have released written statements which you may read below.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today made the following statement after learning that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens would be retiring when the Court finished its work this summer.  Grassley is a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee which will consider the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

“Justice Stevens has had a long and distinguished career on the Supreme Court.  He has been a dedicated public servant over his 30 plus years on the bench, and I wish him the best in his retirement. 

“Replacing him on the Court will be yet another big test for the President.  A lifetime appointment requires a thorough vetting and I expect any Supreme Court nominee to receive fair and deliberative consideration.   The Judiciary Committee will take the time needed to ensure that the President’s nominee will be true to the Constitution and apply the law, not personal politics, feelings or preferences.” 

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement today in reaction to Justice John Paul Steven’s announcement that he will leave the Supreme Court this summer.

“Not only our legal system, but our entire nation, owes a debt of gratitude to Justice Stevens for his contributions to our country, from his service in WWII to his 34-year tenure on the nation’s highest court.  As one of our country’s longest serving Justices, he has demonstrated an unabiding commitment to the rule of law and critical rights and liberties. 

“This commitment was evidenced in the 2004 decision in Tennessee v. Lane, where Justice Stevens authored the majority opinion which upheld the core provisions of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Particularly as the court has undermined important constitutional and statutory protections in recent years, Justice Stevens has been an important voice, too often in dissent, for the rights of ordinary Americans and the fundamental principle of equal justice under law. 

“I wish Justice Stevens the best in his well-deserved retirement, and am confident that President Obama will appoint a worthy successor.  I look forward to a fair and speedy confirmation process.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.