Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court John Paul Stevens, sitting for a portrait in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in May. Photo: Scott McIntyre/for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died, ABC News first reported Tuesday. He was 99.

"Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, John Paul Stevens, died this evening at Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, of complications following a stroke he suffered on July 15. He passed away peacefully with his daughters by his side."
— Supreme Court statement

The big picture: Stevens was the 3rd-longest-serving member of the Supreme Court before he retired in 2010, per NBC News. After being appointed to the court by President Ford in 1975, he went on to have an impact on almost every area of the law, writing the court’s opinions in several landmark cases, the Washington Post notes.

After starting out as a moderate conservative, Stevens went on to become a leader of the court's liberal wing. He acted to limit the death penalty, establish gay rights, promote racial equality, preserve legal abortion and protect the rights of undocumented immigrants facing deportation, per AP.

  • Stevens told the New York Times in 2007, "I don’t think of myself as a liberal at all. I think as part of my general politics, I’m pretty darn conservative."

During his retirement, Stevens remained an active voice on big issues. In October last year, Stevens said Brett Kavanaugh should not be appointed to the Supreme Court because of his performance at Senate confirmation hearings.

In his 2019 autobiography, "'The Making of a Justice," Stevens addresses notable landmark cases the Supreme Court dealt with when he was on the bench — including Bush v. Gore, which led to former President George W. Bush winning the 2000 election.

  • In the book, he writes he was confident while watching the Florida recount that the incident wouldn't end up in the Supreme Court, because "the Constitution, after all, expressly delegates the 'time, place, and manner' of elections to the states," according to an excerpt of the book in the Seattle Times.
  • He was shocked when a majority of the court intervened to stay the Florida recount — a ruling he dissented. (Stevens dissented from the court's rulings more frequently than any other justice during his tenure, NPR notes.)
"I remain of the view that the Court has not fully recovered from the damage it inflicted on itself in Bush v. Gore,” he wrote of the decision.

This article has been updated with more details, including the Supreme Court statement.

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 19,861,683 — Total deaths: 731,326 — Total recoveries — 12,115,825Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 5,044,864 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks — Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral .

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The findings in the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S., with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announcing Friday that school districts in the state can reopen in the fall amid lower coronavirus transmission rates.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers" and the offices of his newspaper raided, said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital on Monday.

Why it matters: He was arrested under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the law, which prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.