June 18, 1981

Dear Mr. Justice:

It is with the deepest regret and appreciation for your long and outstanding service to our Nation that, at your request, I accept your retirement as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, effective July 3, 1981.

Throughout your distinguished judicial career you have shown unfailing dedication to the Court, to the highest standards of the legal profession, and to the fundamental principles and protections of our Constitution. Your opinions have reflected concern for striking appropriate balances between federal and state authority, between individual freedoms and the legitimate interests of community and government, and between preservation of our timeless values and the need to allow for reform and change. And you have expressed your views with special grace and lucidity, which will help make yours an enduring presence in our law.

When you came to the Court you swore to ``administer justice without respect to persons,'' and to ``do equal right to the poor and to the rich . . . agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States.'' You can leave with the assurance that you have kept your solemn oath.

I hope that the Nation can continue to call on your services, and I wish you and Mrs. Stewart a long and happy retirement.

Ronald Reagan

Note: On the same day, the White House announced that the President and Justice Stewart had met at the White House on May 18, at which time the Justice gave the President a letter which expressed his intention to retire.