Remember when Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin about wrong Supreme Court decisions and she had no answer? The correct answer-though it would not have aired on tv was, "Actually, they've been getting most cases right lately, but there are far too many 5-4 decisions. Things that important can't be left to political ideologues." The reason she had no answer was because when Stevens was on the winning side of a decision that went the liberal way from 1986-2010 he made sure the impact of the decision was limited and the reasoning was based on sound constitutional reasoning, a huge difference from liberal decisions from 1940-86. Remember when John McCain was running for President and was asked which justices on the court he would not have appointed. He answered one by one in identical sentences. "I would not have appointed Stephen Breyer" " "''"""""""""Ginsberg" """""""""""""Souter." There was a long pause before he added Stevens to the list. First of all, as a Senator I'm pretty sure he voted to approve all 3. That's good. Qualifi9ed persons should be approved regardless of political preference. Some might think the long pause was because he couldn't remember all the names. I prefer to think he was weighing the decision of whether the far right voters-no friends to McCain-would vote for him if he failed to add Stevens to the list. I think he added him reluctantly, knowing Stevens was a great justice and belonged on the court. Most people think the Bush versus Gore decision of 2000 got a 5-4 vote because the 4 who voted for Gore wanted Gore to win and the 5 who voted for Bush wanted Bush to win. The clues we've had since then (timing of retirements) support that interpretation. If it's wrong though, if anyone voted one way or the other based on the Constitution it's on the Gore side. I think Stevens might have been the one who considered the Constitution. The simplification we hear is that Stevens was on the liberal side of the court. Someone might go so far as to say that that puts him on the list with Earl Warren and Harry Blackmun as men who joined the liberal side in defiance of the will of the conservative Republican who appointed them. If anyone says that, he's wrong! Back when Gerald Ford was President I read an article in which he described his political positions. He said he was conservative on some things and liberal on others. I'm guessing he was liberal on civil rights. He wanted blacks to vote and poor people to be housed. In the 1960s that was not a dividing line between Republicans and Democrats. In the 60s nearly half of all Democrats were conservative. The percentage was higher in the 50s and 40s. Ford used to quote Harry Truman, a Democrat, and tell stories about things Truman did back at the start of Ford's career in Congress. I wondered why for many years, then figured it out. Ford and Truman were a lot alike, practical men trying to do what was right as circumstances presented themselves. With Stevens, Ford was appointing a man like himself. I think Ford got exactly what he wanted and Stevens stands as the biggest and best legacy of the Ford administration.