John Paul Stevens, the former leader of the Supreme Court's liberal wing who started his career as a Republican anti-trust lawyer, died Tuesday at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 99.
According to the New York Times, which cited a statement from the Supreme Court, Stevens died from complications of a stroke that he suffered on Monday.
When Stevens retired from the Court in 2010, he was the second-oldest and second-longest serving justice to ever sit on the court after Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was eight months older than Stevens was when Holmes retired in 1932, and William Douglas, who served 36 years on the court (compared with Stevens' 35).
Stevens has been relatively quiet in retirement, but he made headlines a couple of months ago when he spoke to WSJ to tout his new book "The Making of a Justice: Reflections on My First 94 Years."
Stevens was nominated to the court by President Ford, and while many expected him to move the court to the right (he came from a family that was known for its opposition to FDR's 'New Deal'), he swiftly became a liberal leader.
In one of his final interviews, with WSJ, Stevens expressed frustration with the court's unwillingness to take on the issue of partisan gerrymandering: "I’ve been disappointed in their failure to treat political gerrymandering just like racial gerrymandering, because it’s certainly easier to identify which voters belong to a particular party than knowing what their race is," he said.