Today we issued the following statement:
Throughout his 35 years on the Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens has been an influential member of the Court known for his protection of civil rights and civil liberties. We thank him for his years of dedicated public service, and wish him well in his retirement.
Justice Stevens consistently and vigorously upheld the protections of Roe v. Wade. He voted to uphold a woman's right to choose in several important cases, including Casey and Stenberg (Carhart I). Most recently in Carhart II, Stevens joined Justice Ginsburg's impassioned dissent attacking the majority for placing women's health in danger when the Court upheld a federal law banning certain abortion procedures in 2007. In 2000, Stevens wrote the majority opinion in the Court’s decision to uphold a Colorado buffer zone measure that protected women seeking abortion care from harassment.
The Supreme Court plays a critical role in protecting women’s access to abortion care, and the last two cases involving abortion (Carhart I and II) have been decided by just one vote. This vacancy is an opportunity for President Obama to select a justice who will uphold the right to privacy found in the United States Constitution with the same vigor as Justice Stevens.