Retiring Stevens stood up for women, disabled, more

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Retiring Stevens stood up for women, disabled, more

Lancaster Eagle Gazette – U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens had a legacy in standing up for women's rights, the disabled and minorities, Ohio court watchers said. However, others characterized him as someone who cannot be labeled.

Stevens announced Friday he would retire at the end of this term. President Gerald R. Ford appointed Stevens in 1975.

He handled emergency matters for all of the 6th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, meaning his desk was one of the final stops for Ohio death-row inmates seeking a stay of execution.

He also wrote the majority opinion in a 1995 case, McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, saying that states could not bar the distribution of anonymous campaign leaflets.

Ohio's U.S. senators — Republican George Voinovich and Democrat Sherrod Brown — recognized Stevens' service on the bench and in the military. And both will have a say in approving President Barack Obama's choice to succeed the justice.

"As the nomination process begins, I hope that the president will confer with the leaders of the Senate," Voinovich said in a statement. "Once President Obama has made a decision on a nominee, I look forward to treating his nominee fairly and reviewing their impartiality, integrity, legal expertise and judicial temperament."

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