Gov. Herbert to lower flags in remembrance of Justice John Paul Stevens

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 21, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) —  Gov. Gary R. Herbert has ordered the lowering of the flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of Utah on Tuesday for the interment of Justice John Paul Stevens, who will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on that day.

In accordance with the presidential proclamation sent earlier this week, flags will be flown at half staff at all state facilities and public grounds from sunrise until sunset on Tuesday, July 23, only, said a news release from the Office of the Governor. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to fly the flag at half staff for the same length of time.

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens died at the age of 99 on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court confirmed that Stevens died at Holy Cross Hospital in Florida due to complications following a stroke he experienced on Monday.

“He passed away peacefully with his daughters by his side,” Supreme Court officials said.

He is survived by his two children, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Stevens served for 35 years on the Supreme Court after being nominated by Republican President Gerald Ford in 1975. He was known for voting to limit the use of the death penalty, uphold affirmative action and broadening Roe vs. Wade.

Stevens remained engaged in politics after retiring from the Supreme Court in 2010, writing a New York Times op-ed in March of last year calling for an end to gun violence and a repeal of the Second Amendment. He stated that the Supreme Court’s ruling that there was an individual right to bear arms, which he dissented, provided the National Rifle Association with a “propaganda weapon of immense power.”

“Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the NRA’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option,” Stevens wrote.

Born in Chicago on April 20, 1920, Stevens graduated from the University of Chicago in 1941 after his family’s business went bankrupt during the Great Depression and his father, grandfather and uncle were indicted on charges of financial misconduct. He joined the U.S. Navy on Dec. 6, 1941, the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked and spent World War II stationed in Hawaii as a signals intelligence officer.

After the war, Stevens graduated from Northwestern University’s law school in 1947 and served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Wiley B. Rutledge for the 1947-48 term.

President Richard Nixon appointed Stevens to the Chicago-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in November 1970 and he was nominated five years later to replace Associate Justice William O. Douglas on the Supreme Court.

Stevens was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2012.

President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court John Paul Stevens during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington on May 29, 2012. Stevens died Tuesday at the age of 99. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch


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