Retired Justice Stevens speaks in Arkansas

Wednesday night, Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens spoke at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Stevens’ speech covered the Citizens United decision. He wrote the high court’s dissenting opinion for the case. It’s the decision allowing corporations to donate unlimited funds to political candidates.

Stevens, one of the newest recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, brought his nearly 35 years of experience on the nation’s highest court to Little Rock, explaining why he disagrees with the majority opinion of Citizens United.

“Their disagreement is based not on some controlling rule of law, but rather on their differing views of what rule will best serve the public interest,” said Stevens.

Justice Stevens received high praise from former U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers, who wants Citizens United overturned.

“I have not been able to sleep well since the Citizens United decision was rendered. I simply cannot believe that happened. I promise you everybody in this audience and most of the people in this country would praise you to no end for the magnificent dissenting opinion you wrote in that decision,” says Bumpers.

Taking questions, the 92-year-old Stevens showed the audience retirement means he does not have to follow every Supreme Court case anymore, including the Healthcare Act case.

“Well, I haven’t read the briefs of it, the healthcare case, and I’m really not in a position to predict what might happen with it,” says Stevens.

Stevens served on the Supreme Court from 1975-2010.

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