The L.A. Times has a puff piece on Justice Stevens today. Typical of David Savage pieces, the article warns readers of the danger that the Supreme Court could become even more conservative than it is now . . . if you can imagine that!
The sucking up starts here:
In the last decade, however, he has emerged as the strongest voice for the court’s shrinking liberal wing. Stevens supports the strict separation of church and state, a woman’s right to choose abortion and strong protection for the environment. This year he wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority that said the government may restrict greenhouse gases as a threat to the environment.
The court’s last remaining World War II veteran, he also has insisted that the Bush administration must abide by the standards of the Geneva Convention in its treatment of prisoners in the war on terrorism.
“As he sees it, he hasn’t moved over the years; the court has moved,” said Diane Amann, a former clerk for Stevens and a visiting law professor at UC Berkeley.
And continues here:
In the meantime, lawyers at the high court will have to contend with Stevens’ knack for asking questions that reveal the weakness in their argument.
“His questions often start with an unassuming and gentle lead-in, but he has ability to cut to the heart of a case,” U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, the government’s chief lawyer before the high court, said.
. . . .
“He seems to get younger every year,” Clement said in the interview.
Northwestern University law professor Steven Calabresi, a co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society, said: “He is absolutely remarkable for the vigor and intellectual energy he brings to the job. And I say that as someone who doesn’t always agree with him.
An early riser, Stevens likes to work at his computer at home for several hours before coming to the court. While most of the justices rely heavily on their clerks for writing, Stevens prides himself in writing the first draft of all of his opinions and dissents. He also keeps active in several sports and plays in competitive bridge tournaments.
I’m sure Justice Stevens is a very nice and smart man, and I don’t begrudge him a pleasant little pat on the back from his liberal pals at the L.A. Times.
But can anyone imagine the Los Angeles Times running a similarly sycophantic puff piece on Justice Scalia or Justice Thomas?