Harlan F. Stone (October 11, 1872 - April 22, 1946)

Harlan F. StoneHarlan Fiske Stone was an American lawyer and jurist. A native of New Hampshire he served as the dean of Columbia Law School, his alma mater in the early 20th century. As a member of the Republican Party, he was appointed as the 52nd Attorney General of the United States before becoming an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1925. In 1941, Stone became the 12th Chief Justice of the court, serving until his death in 1946-he was the shortest serving Chief Justice for more than two centuries.

On January 5, 1925, Stone was appointed an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court to a seat vacated by Joseph McKenna, becoming Coolidge's only appointment to the Court. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 5, and received his commission the same day.

During the 1932-1937 Supreme Court terms, Stone, along with Justices Brandeis and Cardozo, was considered a member of the Three Musketeers, which was considered to be the liberal faction of the Supreme Court. The three were highly supportive of President Roosevelt's New Deal programs, which many of the other Supreme Court Justices opposed. For example, he wrote for the court in United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100 (1941), which upheld challenged provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Stone also authored the Court's opinion in United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144 (1938), which, in its famous "Footnote 4," provided a roadmap for judicial review in the post-Lochner v. New York era.

Stone's support of the New Deal brought him in Roosevelt's favor, and on June 12, 1941, the President elevated him to Chief Justice, a seat vacated by Charles Evans Hughes. Stone was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 27, and received his commission on July 3. He remained in this position for the rest of his life.¹

Harlan F. Stone Quotes

"Democracy cannot survive without the guidance of a creative minority."

"Distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality."

"Taxes must be laid by general rules."

"Just what instrumentalities of either a state or the Federal government are exempt from taxation by the other cannot be stated in terms of universal application."

"To say that only those businesses affected with a public interest may be regulated is but another way of stating that all those businesses which may be regulated are affected with a public interest."

Noteworthy Sites

¹ Harlan F. Stone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The Harlan F. Stone Court 1941-1946

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