How World War II shaped John Paul Stevenss approach to the death penalty


<music> good morning. I'm James From The Washington Post and this is the daily to for Wednesday July seventeen in today's news the House votes to condemn President Trump's racist tweets. The uproar has derailed the roll out of the administration's new immigration plan and planned parenthood ousts. It's president after less than a year on the job but I in the big idea. Former Supreme Court justice. John Paul Stevens died last night at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale Florida. He was ninety nine a moderate Republican from Chicago. He evolved into the leader of the courts liberal wing over thirty five years on the High Court before retiring in two thousand ten is the third longest serving justice ever justice Stevens left his stamp on nearly every area of the law writing the courts opinions in landmark cases on government regulation gave us the Chevron Doctrine Karen Intellectual Property and civil liberties the also spoke for the court when it held presidents accountable under the law writing the nineteen ninety-seven decision that required Bill Clinton to face Paula Jones's sexual harassment suit and the two thousand six opinion that Bar George W Bush from holding military trials for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without congressional authorization Stevens was bored in Chicago on April Twentieth Nineteen Twenty. His family lived in Hyde Park right next to the University of Chicago. His grandfather jeans Stevens was the founder of the Illinois Life Insurance Company and owned the Lasalle Hotel which the justices Father Ernest managed in one thousand nine twenty-seven the family opened the Stevens Hotel in Chicago August which was billed as the largest hotel in the world at that time John Paul enjoyed a privileged childhood he attended the best schools he met celebrities like Charles Lindbergh and Amelia earhart at the hotel and he was lucky enough to be the in the crowd at Wrigley Field on October first one thousand nine hundred thirty two when Babe Ruth hit his famous called shot homerun off cubs pitcher Charlie route but the Stevens businesses that that made them so affluent went bankrupt during the Great Depression and Justice Stevens his father his grandfather and his uncle remain Stevens were all indicted on charges of alleged financial misconduct shortly after the indictment James Stevens wins had a stroke so he was excused from trial Raymond Stevens committed suicide. A jury convicted Ernest Evens Nineteen thirty-three of embezzling one point three million dollars but his conviction was overturned in nineteen thirty four by the Illinois Supreme Court. Which sharply criticized prosecutors for bringing the charges noting that there was not a Scintilla of evidence of any concealment or fraud attempted the family had always said they just take had taken a loan from the Life Insurance Company to support the hotel but the experience reduced the wealthy family to a lower middle class lifestyle it also taught justice Stevens an enduring lesson they brought with him to the bench about the harm that even well-to-do you citizens can suffer from over zealous prosecution and other flaws in our justice system his experience during World War Two also really shaped his worldview and eventually his jurisprudence he joined the navy is an intelligence since officer on December sixth nineteen forty one? That's right the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked. He liked to joke in later years that his commissioning had provoked the Japanese to strike because they took it as a sign of American desperation he spent the War at Pearl Harbor working as a signals intelligence officer. His specialty was traffic analysis the compilation of Japanese messages to discern patterns in communication that might help identify relocate and enforces. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Helping Dakota the code a particularly difficult Japanese radio call sign his work allowed us to shoot down Japanese Admiral Seroku Yamamoto's airplane. This strategic coup was only possible because Stevens had decoded Japanese radio transmissions that had been intercepted but the targeting killing of Yamamoto really troubled a young Stevens he explained a few years ago that so his first doubts about capital punishment which he considered another form form of deliberate killing by the state of named individual when Gerald Ford I put Stevens on the court he was pretty conservative. INDEEDY CAST A fifth vote to permit states to reauthorize the death penalty just four years after the court had invalidated invalidated it but as the country the court and the Republican Party moved right justice Stevens did not he began to take a more favourable view of affirmative action and he started fighting the limit the scope of the death penalty citing his World War Two experience in two thousand and to justice Stevens wrote the majority opinion in a six to three decision that banned the death penalty for the mentally disabled in two thousand five after years of condemning the death penalty for offenders younger than eighteen which the court upheld in nineteen eighty nine justice Stevens persuaded Anthony Kennedy he won Kennedy's vote The critical fifth vote for his side and capital punishment for minors is no longer allowed in this country today. As a result and that's the big idea here are three other headlines. That should be on your radar. This Hump Day number one divided House voted last night to condemn president trump's racist remarks telling for minority congresswoman to go back to their ancestral countries with all but four Republicans dismissing the rebuke is harassment while many Democrats pushed their leadership for harsher punishment of the president the imagery of the two hundred at forty one hundred eighty seven vote was stark a diverse democratic caucus cast the president's words as an affront to millions of Americans and descendants of immigrants will republican lawmakers the vast majority of them white men stood with trump against a resolution rejected as quote racist comments that legitimised fear and hatred of new Americans and people of Color. All four of the Republicans who broke ranks. Maybe gone after next year will heard from Texas is the loan black Republican in the house. He represents hundreds hundreds of miles of the southern border and trump lost his district by huge margin in two thousand sixteen and we'll do so again in twenty twenty. He barely survive by a few hundred votes in two thousand Eighteen Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for reelection next year and the philly suburbs suburbs. Susan Brooks of Indiana's already announced her retirement and many expect Fred Upton of Michigan to retire as well Justin Amash from western Michigan quit the G._O._p.. Earlier this month and it's called for trump's impeachment also voted for the resolution the debate played out on a Raucous House floor. Islamic attacked one another's motives and repeatedly questioned whether their opponents had violated longstanding rules of decorum those rules ultimately were changed. They literally changed the rules. After Republicans challenged Speaker Nancy NC Pelosi's use of the word racist well Democrats United Behind the resolution that passed they were unanimous and supporting it many of her rank and file members said they want Pelosi to do more dozens signed onto way censure resolution that was filed by Steve Cohen from Tennessee who called trump's comments uproarious and deserving of a more serious rebuke authority or possibility though for Pelosi came from Al Green from Texas he filed articles of impeachment against trump last night under special procedures that could bring them up for a vote by the end of the week. That's a dilemma for Pelosi continues to resist calls for impeaching trump since the Senate won't take anything up senior Democratic AIDS expect back the speaker will move to either kill the resolution referred to committee effectively sidelining the matter but either option would pose a difficult vote for her caucus of which more than eighty members have supported launching an impeachment inquiry number two. That floor fight last night in the house over the racism resolution forced the cancellation of meeting at the White House in which the president was going to talk with top Republican congressional leaders about his new immigration plan senior Republicans in the Senate on Tuesday immediately began downplaying downplay the prospects of the new White House proposal an effort. That's being led by senior adviser Jared Kushner the president's son-in-law. They haven't even been briefed on the details but they say it's dead on arrival one G._O._P.. Senator told us there's just no bandwith to debate it. A senior Republican aides said Mitch McConnell McConnell doesn't want to waste time on legislation that has no chance of garnering sixty votes to advance in the Senate but in a cabinet meeting yesterday Kushner preview details of the six hundred twenty page legislation and said that he's worked with roughly two dozen G._O._P.. Senate offices to try and trap graph the bill apparently though he's considered no Democrats what administration officials said that about ten Senate Republicans will co-sponsor the Legislation White House aides have previously described a new point based system that ranks perspective immigrants on factors like education levels English speaking abilities in professional skills meanwhile a group of plaintiff's led by the A._C._l._U. filed suit last night against the trump administration in U._S.. District Toward San Francisco in an attempt to halt the implementation of the new policy that disqualifies most asylum salom seekers who pass through Mexico before reaching the United States number three the president of planned parenthood was unexpectedly forced out of her job yesterday afternoon in a dispute over her management style on the direction of the nation's largest women's reproductive rights organization amid growing political and legal challenges to abortion planned parenthood's board met in emergency session for several hours on Tuesday and approved lane of wins immediate departure just eight months after she got the job the organization organization faces growing financial peril from trump administration rule that took effect on Monday barring federally funded Family Planning Clinics from providing referrals for abortions. It's also under attack by antiabortion lawmakers at the state and federal level and it's threatened by the prospect that the nineteen seventy-three ruling Roe v Wade legalized abortion could be overturned by the Post Brett Cavenaugh New Conservative majority on the court a person aware of the planned parenthood's boards perspective said the organization had tried to work with win for six months to correct problems with her management style. This person said it resulted in serious conflicts and that she had difficulty working with staff. The organization announced the appointment of Alexis McGill Johnson a former board chair in the head of an antidiscrimination organization is acting the president and said the search for a new president will begin early next year it planned parenthood spokeswoman said that the terms of one's departure had been negotiated over several weeks but then when went on twitter and said that was a lie and she lashed out at the board quite an internal fight with so many external challenges and that's the daily to to for Wednesday July seventeenth. Thanks as always for listening. I'd really love to know what you think of this podcast what you like or don't like if you can take our survey I'd be really grateful and.

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