Justice Stevens, who will retire at the end of the Supreme Court’s current term, is a Chicago native where the political culture taught him to hold politicians accountable. “In the 1940s, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Wiley Blount Rutledge asked the professors at Northwestern University Law School if they had a student who might be a good candidate to work for him as a clerk. In fact, they had two, but they couldn’t decide who was more deserving, so they flipped a coin. The winner was John Paul Stevens, who has told people that the coin toss changed his life. It was the beginning of a storied legal career that led the Hyde Park native, lifelong Cubs fan and Chicago hotel owner’s son to a 35-year stint on the Supreme Court, where the moderate Republican came to be seen as the chief defender of liberal causes. On Friday, he announced he would retire at the end of the court’s present term.”
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