Discuss as:

An emotional day at the Supreme Court


Today's highly unusual day at the Supreme Court began with Chief Justice John Roberts announcing the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's husband, Martin, calling him "a dear friend to everyone at the court."

In tribute to the last day on the bench for Justice John Paul Stevens, many people in the lawyer's section and the public area wore bow ties, his longtime neckwear of choice.

After a marathon that took more than an hour to announce the remaining four opinions and the long dissents, the chief justice told Stevens, "The Supreme Court convened for the first time in 1790. You have served on its bench for nearly one-sixth of its existence." His decision to retire, Roberts says, "saddens each of us in distinct ways."

Justice Stevens responded by saying that years ago, he would have addressed the court as "my brethren," but now does so as "my colleagues."

"If I have overstayed my welcome, it is because it is a unique and wonderful job."