April 9, 2014 -- United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (Ret.) will deliver the Commencement address at UCLA School of Law’s 63rd Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. in Perloff Quad on the UCLA campus.
Justice Stevens is one of the longest-serving Justices in the Supreme Court’s history. He was appointed to the court in 1975 by President Gerald Ford and served for more than 34 years. From 1994 until his retirement in June 2010, Justice Stevens served as the court’s senior Associate Justice. In that role, he assumed administrative duties of the court whenever the Chief Justice was unavailable, and assigned opinions whenever the Chief Justice was not in the majority.
He penned two landmark decisions in the last decade regarding due process and limits to executive power: Rasul v. Bush in 2004 and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006. Following his retirement, he published a memoir in 2011 containing his recollections of personal and professional interactions with five different Chief Justices, from Fred Vinson to John Roberts, entitled Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir.
Justice Stevens received an A.B. degree from the University of Chicago and a J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law. He served in the United States Navy from 1942-1945, working in communications intelligence during World War II. He was a law clerk to Justice Wiley Rutledge of the United States Supreme Court during the 1947 term. He was associate counsel to the Subcommittee on the Study of Monopoly Power of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1951–1952, and a member of the Attorney General’s National Committee to Study Antitrust Law from 1953–1955. He practiced as an antitrust lawyer before being appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President Richard Nixon, where he served as a judge from 1970–1975.