Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court closed its term for the summer Monday with stirring tributes to two members of its larger family.
Justice John Paul Stevens capped his 35-year-career on the high court by emotionally thanking his colleagues. And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was on hand to hear a tribute to her late husband Martin, who died Sunday of cancer.
The nine justices wrapped up their business before a three-month recess by issuing orders and the court's remaining four opinions. Before gaveling the court to a close after a 70-minute session, Chief Justice John Roberts thanked Stevens for his government service.
"Your decision to retire saddens each of us in distinct ways," said Roberts from the bench. "You have enriched us through your inspiring example of public service. The bonds of friendship that we have forged extend beyond our common endeavor." His eight colleagues signed a letter of gratitude, which also included retired justices David Souter and Sandra Day O'Connor.
The 90-year-old Stevens had the last word, telling the packed courtroom, "It has been an honor and a privilege to share custodial responsibility for a great institution with the eight of you and with ten of your predecessors." He appeared emotional in his brief statement, pausing at times. But he smiled broadly at the end.
This country is really in a dire mess. Now OBAMA gets to appoint another of his ignorant cronies.
The Supreme Court, indeed the entire nation has lost the finest Justice currently sitting on the US Supreme Court. Justice Stevens will be sorely missed and extremely difficult to replace. In fact, I fear we will not see his like again anytime soon. President Ford once said that his appointment of Justice Stevens was the single act of his Presidency of which he was most proud. Thank you Justice Stevens.
We are civilized society and depends on Courts and police for protection.
I never understood this second amendment to carry gun.
If we take law in our hand than why we need Police force or any court or legal system.
You are unemployed and if senate blocks the extension than may be some Nut is going to do big job by using second amendment.
I wish that Obama would nominate a non-activist judge. Unfortunately, that wouldn't fit his judicial activist agenda.
Kagen is a very educated activist. Because she's never been a judge, there's almost nothing to gauge her perfomance on.... and that which we do have, shows that she's willing to play the role of activist and move away from the Constitution.
90 years. Very impressive.
Hopefully Kagen does get in there. Her activist ways will only steal more freedoms from Americans–for years and years to come.
Stevens is reported to have said: "I can't spend any more time with you conservatives, one more day is one more day wasted, I need to spend my days enjoying what I have left to live and cut my losses, smell you later losers"
Replacing one radical liberal with another.
If Kerry endorsed Kagan it should be enough to keep her from being sent to the Supreme Court. Since Kerry does not feel the Tax Payers can spend their money on what is good for the country,but the politicans can.