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.