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Watch live: John Paul Stevens lies in repose at Supreme Court

By UPI Staff
Justice Stevens lies in repose at the Supreme Court
Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan, center left, speaks at a private ceremony in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court where the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens lies in repose. Photo by Andrew Harnik/UPI | License Photo

July 22 (UPI) -- The body of John Paul Stevens lay in repose Monday at the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., where the former associate justice sat on the bench for more than three decades.

Stevens died in Florida last week due to complications following a stroke. He was 99.

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Current members of the Supreme Court participated in a ceremony Monday to honor Stevens. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited briefly to pay their respects.

About 80 former law clerks lined the steps of the Supreme Court building as Stevens' casket was brought in, and about a dozen served as pallbearers.

"Stevens was kind, gentle, down to earth, always carrying an amused glint in his eye and a delighted smile on his face," said Cliff Sloan, a visiting scholar who worked for Stevens in 1985. "Above all, Stevens knew that the majesty of the law comes when the Supreme Court rises above being a predictable political player, when it acts, and is sees as acting, as an impartial guardian of the rule of law even if one disagrees with its individual decisions."

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Having spent 35 years on the bench, Stevens was the third-longest-serving justice in U.S. history.

The Supreme Court building will be open until about 8 p.m. Monday for the public to visit. His will be buried Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.

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