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Emotions high as Supreme Court closes its term

The U.S. Supreme Court closed its October Term 2009 yesterday on an unusually emotional note.

Before the Court announced its four blockbuster rulings yesterday, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. read a statement about the passing of Martin Ginsburg, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s husband of 56 years, calling him “a dear friend to everyone at the court,” according to NBC’s Pete Williams.

Then at the end of the session, Roberts paid tribute to retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on his last day on the bench.

“The Supreme Court convened for the first time in 1790. You have served on its bench for nearly one-sixth of its existence,” Roberts said, adding that Stevens’ departure “saddens each of us in distinct ways.”

Stevens said of his 35 years on the Court: “If I have overstayed my welcome, it is because it is a unique and wonderful job.”

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