John Paul Stevens, the retired U.S. Supreme Court justice, has dramatically called for repeal of the Second Amendment in an op-ed that he penned in The New York Times.
Stevens’ call for outright appeal of the amendment went event farther than what even some of the most vocal gun control advocates have been seeking. That has a lot of people wondering about John Paul Stevens’ politics. What political party is John Paul Stevens?
John Paul Stevens, who will turn 98-years-old on April 20, 2018, is a Republican. He was nominated to the nation’s highest court by President Gerald Ford. He served 34 years and six months on the U.S. Supreme Court. According to The Los Angeles Times, he was “a Midwestern Republican with a background in corporate and antitrust law” when he joined the Supreme Court. However, that does not tell the full story. The newspaper noted that he left a “liberal legacy” on the Court. Gerald Ford named Stevens to replace retiring Justice William O. Douglas in 1975.
Stevens was a friend of Ford’s new attorney general who thought Stevens was “mainstream” enough to make it through the Democratic-controlled Senate at the time.
“Since the mid-1990s, Justice Stevens has been the leader of the court’s liberal wing and its strongest voice for progressive causes. He supported a strict separation of church and state and vigorous enforcement of laws to protect civil rights and the environment,” The Los Angeles Times reported, adding that, although some might argue that Stevens became more liberal, Stevens argued that he held the center as the court became more conservative.
In the op-ed in The New York Times, Stevens wrote that the youth gun control movement that emerged after the Florida school shooting should seek repeal of the Second Amendment. “That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms,” Stevens wrote. “But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”
He continued, “That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform.”
According to Oyez.org, Stevens was born in Chicago and endured tragedy as a youth during the Great Depression. Born to a wealthy family, his father, uncle, and grandfather were indicted for embezzlement, and his uncle committed suicide, although his father was cleared. Stevens entered the Navy, working as a code breaker in World War II and earning a bronze star, Oyez.org reported. He attended law school through the GI Bill at Northwestern and became a lawyer and then a judge, the site reports. President Richard Nixon, also a Republican, appointed Stevens to the Court of Appeals.
It’s not the first time that Stevens has spoken out on controversial issues. He previously criticized President Donald Trump for his discourse on the travel ban. Stevens’ comments on the Second Amendment come as the nation’s gun debate has intensified in the wake of the Florida school shooting, in which 17 students and staff members lost their lives.