An extreme Radical Republican, he believed in complete equality. Rich and poor, black and white, he didn't care. He was known for defending runaway slaves in court when the Slave Laws were passed. He served in the state legislature from 1833 until 1882, where he constantly expressed his views about slavery and equality. Stevens was an opponent of the Lincoln and Johnson policies, thinking them too lenient, and was the prime investigator for the Johnson impeachment.