Justice Stevens Announces Retirement from Supreme Court

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Nick Berning, nberning@foe.org, (202) 222-0748
Scott Baumgartner, sbaumgartner@foe.org, (202) 222-0751

Justice Stevens Announces Retirement from Supreme Court

WASHINGTON - Supreme
Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement today, ending a tenure
that began in 1975. He is the Court’s senior Associate Justice.

Justice
Stevens played a crucial role in protecting environmental laws that serve the
public interest from legal attacks by corporate special interests. He sided
with the majority in Friends of the Earth v.
Laidlaw Environmental Services, holding that Friends of the Earth
and other environmental groups harmed by the pollution of companies violating
federal environmental standards had the right to challenge those violations in
court. In 2007, Justice Stevens wrote the majority opinion for Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency,
ruling that carbon dioxide could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. In 2009,
the EPA confirmed that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endangered
public health, and announced plans to move forward with such regulations.
Friends of the Earth was a petitioner in both cases.

Friends
of the Earth president Erich Pica had the following statement:

“We
thank Justice Stevens for his many years of service and dedication to upholding
the rights and equal opportunities of every American. In his many years as an
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Stevens was a resounding voice
on behalf of the Constitution, the rule of law, including environmental
protection laws, and the rights of citizens to bring legal challenges against
corporations and federal agencies.

“Justice
Stevens has consistently applied the principle that all Americans are equal
under the law.  He has ruled in favor of those standing up to corruption
and corporate influence. His vigorous dissent in Citizens United v. FEC demonstrates his conviction, to the
very end of his tenure, that the Constitution does not give corporate money the
right to speak louder than individuals in this democracy. 

“While
Justice Stevens’s replacement will have very large shoes to fill, it is
my hope that President Obama will nominate someone with as much integrity,
dignity, and dedication to rational discourse and the rule of law as Justice
Stevens.”

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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