To wield tremendous power evenhandedly with kindness and humility is a mark of a strong connection to oceanic truth. We're used to finding this rarest combination of traits among saints and social change leaders like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, yet this week, the country lost a man who embodied them in a secular way from an exalted office. Justice John Paul Stevens was ahead of his time
on many key issues and questions that faced the nation, and will be looked back upon by future generations as consistently and courageously on the right side of history. Appointed to the Supreme Court by Gerald Ford and initially considered to be a solid conservative Republican, his judicial legacy is often regarded as leading the liberal wing of the court for 35 years. Its a characterization that he'd dispute, and those who knew him well would strongly attest that the guiding principles beneath his sharp legal mind were unwavering decency, implicit equality, and a high regard for human dignity.
Twenty five years ago, close to the 20th anniversary of his time on the bench, one such person who knew him well, Preeta Bansal, spoke beautifully about this remarkable man. Check out Preeta's share and reflections from clerking with him during her time just out of law school.