He was an English major. After WWII, in which he served in the Navy as a code breaker, he went to law school. He could go to law school because the G.I. Bill paid for it (if he'd been an African American, however, there would have been no G.I. Bill for him).
What he's proposing for the Constitutional changes is discussed in the New York Review of Books, which is available to read online here:
Gun control, campaign finance, capital punishment, political gerrymandering, anti-commandeering, and sovereign immunity—it’s a heterogeneous list. But there is a unifying theme, which is the importance of democratic self-government. With respect to gun control, campaign finance, anti-commandeering, and sovereign immunity, Stevens would free the political process from the control of the courts. In the case of political gerrymandering, he would go in the other direction, because he would impose a constitutional barrier where one does not now exist. But the reason for the barrier is to improve the functioning of American democracy. It is only in the case of the death penalty that Stevens would create a new, rights-based safeguard, designed to protect an individual right, not to promote self-government as such.As far as can be told from an article in the NY Review of Books, his ideas have merit. But then, he believes that Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare, because Shakespeare was written by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.
|Justice Stevens winds up to throw out the first pitch before the start of the Chicago Cubs game with the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005 at Wrigley Field in Chicago|