Executive Order No. 75 (2019) -

Executive Order No. 75 (2019)

Governor Philip D. Murphy

A Tribute to the Life and Passing of United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

Issued: July 19, 2019.

Effective: July 19, 2019.

WHEREAS, Justice John Paul Stevens was a towering figure in American jurisprudence, who served for thirty-five years on the United States Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens was born on April 20, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with highest honors from the University of Chicago in 1941, and, soon after beginning work on his Master's degree in English, enlisted in the United States Navy on December 6, 1941, one day before the attack on Pearl Harbor; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens served as an intelligence officer in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in the codebreaking team whose work led to the downing of a Japanese plane in 1943; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens then returned to Illinois after World War II to attend Northwestern University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the law review and completed his law degree in two years, earning the highest GPA in the history of the law school; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens served as a clerk to Justice Wiley Rutledge on the United States Supreme Court from 1947 to 1948; and

WHEREAS, following his clerkship, Justice Stevens joined the law firm of Poppenhusen, Johnston, Thompson & Raymond, and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1949; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens also served as associate counsel to the Subcommittee on the Study of Monopoly Power of the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, formed his own law firm, and taught at the University of Chicago Law School from 1953 to 1955; and

WHEREAS, in 1969, Justice Stevens was named as counsel to the Greenberg Commission, which was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to investigate corruption allegations against former and current Chief Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, in 1970, Justice Stevens was appointed as a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President Richard Nixon and confirmed by the United States Senate; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens was nominated as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, and on December 17, 1975, Justice Stevens was confirmed by the United States Senate and received his commission; and

WHEREAS, throughout Justice Stevens' tenure on the Supreme Court, his influence was felt on nearly every area of the law, including government regulation, the death penalty, intellectual property, civil liberties, and criminal law; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens supported the tenets of the separation of church and state, held that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay should have an opportunity to dispute their detentions in federal court, and opposed using the death penalty on juvenile offenders and the mentally disabled; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens dissented from the majority's holding in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and presciently warned of the danger that the unchecked influence of money in politics could lead to corruption, stating that"a democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold"; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens retired on June 29, 2010, as the second oldest and third-longest-serving justice ever to sit on the Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, in retirement, Justice Stevens became an author of three books and several notable articles; and

WHEREAS, in 2012, Justice Stevens received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens was known for his unfailing respect and civility, his immense intellect and kindness, and his dignified and faithful service to the law; and

WHEREAS, on July 16, 2019, Justice Stevens died at the age of 99; and

WHEREAS, Justice Stevens' presence will be sorely missed by his family, his friends, his colleagues, and by the people of this country whom he served so well; and

WHEREAS, it is with great sorrow that we mourn the passing of Justice Stevens, and extend our deepest sympathy to his two daughters, Elizabeth Jane Sesemann and Susan Roberta Mullen, his nine grandchildren, and his thirteen great-grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, it is appropriate to honor the exemplary service, character, and cherished memory of Justice Stevens, and to signify his passing;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in recognition and mourning of an exemplary legal mind and distinguished member of the United States Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens.

2. This Order shall take effect immediately.

(Published November 7, 2011 in the New Jersey Register at 43 N.J.R. 2689(a). Published July 19, 2019 in the New Jersey Register at 51 N.J.R. 1309(a).)

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