Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dies

What You Need to Know - Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died according to multiple reports.

Stevens served as an associate justice on the nation's highest court from 1975 until his retirement in 2010. He was 99 years old.

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Stevens was a lifelong Republican who was known for making more liberal-leaning decisions while on the Supreme Court bench, according to CNN. He was nominated to the high court by Republican President Gerald Ford and was succeeded by Elena Kagan, who was chosen by Democratic President Barack Obama, Politico reported.

Stevens’ influence was felt on issues including abortion rights, protecting consumers and placing limits on the death penalty. He led the high court’s decision to allow terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay to plead for their freedom in U.S. courts.

As a federal appeals court judge in Chicago, Stevens was considered a moderate when Ford nominated him. On the Supreme Court he became known as an independent thinker and a voice for ordinary people against powerful interests.

He was the second-oldest justice in the court’s history.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.