President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on Monday paid their respects to the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
The president tweeted on Monday morning, “Going with First Lady to pay our respects to Justice Stevens” before his departure.
Going with First Lady to pay our respects to Justice Stevens. Leaving now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2019
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump shook hands with Chief Justice John Roberts before walking over to the viewing area to pay their respects to Stevens whose body laid in repose in the court’s Great Hall.
Respected as a “brilliant man” with a “deep devotion to the rule of law,” Stevens served for nearly 35 years before retiring in 2010.
The 99-year-old former Supreme Court justice passed away last week in Florida after suffering a stroke.
The president and the first lady paused for a few moments in front of the casket before taking their leave. They stood in front of the portrait of Stevens before leaving the Great Hall.
“He was a brilliant man with extraordinary legal gifts and talents, which he combined with a deep devotion to the rule of law and a deep commitment to equal justice,” said Associate Justice Elena Kagan.
Stevens believed “no person, however high and mighty, was above the law,” said Kagan, who continued, “And he [Stevens] insisted that the law and the legal system treat every person, however weak or defenseless, with dignity and with fairness.”
Six of Stevens’s former colleagues were at the court to pay their respects. Besides Kagan, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Samuel Alito, and Sonia Sotomayor, as well as retired Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy were present at the Monday morning ceremony.
Also, present at the ceremony was Ashley Kavanaugh, the wife of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The public will be able to pay respects to Stevens until 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) Monday.
Following a private ceremony on Tuesday, Stevens will be buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.