ADL Statement On Retirement Of Justice Stevens

New York, NY, April 9, 2010 … In reaction to the retirement announcement by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) leaders Robert G. Sugarman, National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, issued the following statement:

Associate Justice John Paul Stevens is a staunch and tireless defender of civil rights and religious liberty, and he will be missed by all who work to ensure that America lives up to its constitutional promise of equality and fairness.

Justice Stevens understands that our Constitution was designed to ensure that the rights of minorities must not be subject to majority whim. On that basis, he has consistently defended the rights of gay Americans and racial and religious minorities. He also understands that protecting adherents to minority religions from undue government influence strengthens our nation's democracy.

As he wrote in a landmark religious freedom case:

"Whenever we remove a brick from the wall that was designed to separate religion and government, we increase the risk of religious strife and weaken the foundations of our democracy."

We thank Justice Stevens for his lifetime of service to our nation. 

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.