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Justice Stevens to Deliver Convocation Address

John Paul Stevens will address graduates, participate in a moderated conversation on his legacy

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April 29, 2011 | by Hilary Hurd Anyaso
John Paul Stevens

John Paul Stevens

CHICAGO --- John Paul Stevens, retired associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, during a two-day visit to Northwestern University School of Law, his alma mater, will deliver the main convocation address at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. 

A daylong symposium on the “The Legacy of Justice Stevens” will take place the day before the convocation, on Thursday, May 12, followed by a moderated question-and-answer session with Justice Stevens.

Stevens’ visit is not open to the public, and registration for the Northwestern Law community is closed.

The symposium, “The Legacy of Justice Stevens,” presented by the Northwestern University Law Review and the Northwestern Law faculty, will include law school faculty from around the country who will participate in four academic panels, including “Justice Stevens on Executive Power” and “Justice Stevens’ Trajectory on the Court.”

The question-and-answer session will be moderated by Northwestern Law alumni Carter G. Phillips, managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley Austin and among the leading litigators who has argued before the Supreme Court, and Kate Shaw, a former law clerk to Justice Stevens who currently is associate counsel in the White House Counsel’s Office.

Stevens, who is the third-longest serving justice in the Supreme Court’s history, graduated in 1947, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law. Stevens served as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1970 to 1975. Nominated to the Supreme Court by President Gerald Ford, he took his seat on that court on Dec. 19, 1975, and served for 35 years until his retirement in June 2010.

“I am prepared to allow history's judgment of my term in office to rest (if necessary, exclusively) on my nomination 30 years ago of Justice John Paul Stevens to the U.S. Supreme Court," wrote former President Gerald Ford to participants at a 2005 Fordham University School of Law symposium on Stevens' career.

"He has served his nation well, at all times carrying out his judicial duties with dignity, intellect and without partisan political concerns. Justice Stevens has made me, and our fellow citizens, proud of my decision to appoint him to the Supreme Court. I wish him a long life, good health and many more years on the bench.”

The quotes by former President Ford were excerpted from the Northwestern magazine article titled “A Justice for All: John Paul Stevens is the quintessential Supreme Court justice: fair, nonpartisan and committed to upholding the rule of law.”

Read the full article at http://www.northwestern.edu/magazine/spring2009/cover/stevens.html