(CNN) – President Obama penned a birthday letter to retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on Tuesday.
Born in 1920, Tuesday marked Stevens' 90th birthday, an occasion President Obama celebrated by congratulating Stevens on his "long and esteemed tenure in public service."
"For the last 35 years of your remarkable 90, the Nation has benefited from the rigor, courage, and integrity," Obama wrote in the letter, released by the Supreme Court press office.
Obama, who is reportedly reaching out this week to possible candidates to succeed Stevens, wished the high court judge much happiness moving forward.
"Our system of justice, and our Nation, are stronger and fairer because of your sterling contributions. On behalf of the country, I thank you for your distinguished service and wish you and your wife Maryan much happiness."
Stevens was nominated by President Ford and took his seat on the court December 19, 1975.
–CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report.
Great man. Thanks for your service and being one of the few to stand up for Liberals.
Happy birthday, Judge Stevens.
Happy Birthday, Justice Stevens. Here's to many more!
Happy birth and glad to see you go. You had a great career then completely missed the mark with the animal cruelty decision today.
I hope President Obama checks with Bo before picking anyone else to the inferior court!
The letter was inside a Thank You card.
amazing how republican appointed justices are now considered too liberal. Maybe you folks have moved the goal post too far to the right.
Any brown shirts?
Someone this old can not make practical decisions. That is why this country is going atheist.
Awww, Happy Birthday, Justice Stevens!
Justice Stevens is a man of true integrity. Growing up in a time when racism was the norm, he rebuked it. Now that's what I call a man of God. One who does what's right, when the overwhelming majority of Americans were standing on the wrong side.
His life is an example of why you don't follow polls. You do what's right for your neighbor, and yourself.
LOUSY Liberal Judge who wants to give away the country....Happy Birthday...Glad you are leaving...I just wish you would wait until 2012 when the idiot is out.
LIAR LIAR Barack Obama took 1 million from Goldman Sachs...
Funny the liar took so much money....
Oh and what about NOT allowing people to Lobby that served during his Presidency....Yep liar..
President is a Liar and will NOT release information on FT HOOD massacre....
Hey President what happen to transparency.... Whats wrong with you liar.
The President should GIVE BACK the Million he took from Goldman Sachs....what a liar and thief he is... unreal...
Well thats one thing the GOP really cant lie about. They can lie about health care reform, lie about wall street reform, lie about him being a socialist, they can even lie about his birth certificate. But they cant lie about the fact that he is as classy as they come. I know that is one thing I will remember about his presidency long after he has departed the White House.
Did Barry remember the birthdays of our Conservative Judges? Nuff said!
what about his mentor? Cardinal Mahony!
Well deserved and hope his replacement is half as good then we are ALL OK.
All, would do well to remember this is the peoples court not either a Democratic or Republican party court.
I hope Obama asked him privately who he would recommend to replace him.!!??