Justice Stevens And The Coin Toss That Influenced Judicial History

Jul 23, 2019

WUKY's award winning history series Saving Stories with Dr. Doug Boyd from the Nunn Center for Oral History in the UK Libraries, returns with audio from the Heyburn Initiative For Excellence in the Federal Judiciary.  Among the more than 40 interviews conducted by project director Anu Kasarabada, is a conversation with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who died at the age of 99 earlier this month.  Stevens is one of only a few Supreme Court Justices who started their law careers by clerking for a Supreme Court Justice.  In this interview from 2017 Stevens reveals that a coin toss determined whether he would clerk for Justice Wiley Rutledge or Chief Justice Fred Vinson; both hailed from Kentucky.

FILE - In this April 30, 2014 file photo, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens prepares to testify on the ever-increasing amount of money spent on elections as he appears before the Senate Rules Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Stevens, the bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court's leading liberal, died Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after suffering a stroke Monday. He was 99. (AP Photo, File)

The Heyburn Initiative is a national, non-partisan endeavor established in 2016 in honor of the late U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II, to study and document the role of the Third Branch in our democracy, with particular focus on Kentuckians' contributions.