Harlan Fiske Stone

Media Items
Personal Information
Born 
Friday, October 11, 1872
Died 
Monday, April 22, 1946
Childhood Location 
New Hampshire
Childhood Surroundings 
New Hampshire
Position 
Associate Justice
Seat 
10
Nominated By 
Coolidge
Commissioned on 
Thursday, February 5, 1925
Sworn In 
Monday, March 2, 1925
Left Office 
Wednesday, July 2, 1941
Reason For Leaving 
Promoted
Length of Service 
16 years, 4 months, 0 days (16 years, 4 months, 0 days / 4 years, 9 months, 19 days)
Home 
New York
Position 
Chief Justice
Seat 
1
Nominated By 
Roosevelt, F.
Commissioned on 
Thursday, July 3, 1941
Sworn In 
Thursday, July 3, 1941
Left Office 
Monday, April 22, 1946
Reason For Leaving 
Death
Length of Service 
16 years, 4 months, 0 days (16 years, 4 months, 0 days / 4 years, 9 months, 19 days)
Home 
New York
Harlan Fiske Stone
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: signed C.J. Fox (painted by others))
Biography 

Harlan Fiske Stone divided his early professional life between the private practice of law and teaching. He was Dean of the Columbia Law School. Stone's former college chum from Amherst, Calvin Coolidge, appointed him Attorney General in 1923. Within a year, Stone was appointed to the Supreme Court. Franklin Roosevelt elevated Stone to the position of Chief Justice in 1941, despite Stone's Republican associations. Stone's experience in academic work was good preparation for his tenure on the High Court where he articulated a central tenet of his judicial philosophy: the concept of judicial self- restraint. In his early experience on the bench, Stone was often at odds with many of his colleagues who sought to impose their policy preferences in the name of the Constitution. Stone continued to battle against the imposition of personal policy preference while chief justice, though the impetus for change came this time from his liberal colleagues. Stone's ideas about the role of the judiciary were forcefully expressed in several important dissenting opinions during the heyday of the New Deal, when the Court majority continually struck down national legislation. By 1937, the Court seemed to engage in a virtual withdrawal from the act of governing, when it reversed course and approved subsequent exercises of national authority under the commerce clause. But the withdrawal did not signal a rout, merely a reallocation of judicial resources. Stone gave life to the doctrine of preferred freedoms and that the judiciary maintained special oversight of individual liberties while it withdrew from the realm of economic legislation. Stone died suddenly in April 1946, leaving a Court deeply divided under his leadership.

Clerkships 
Clerk Law Schoolsort icon Terms Clerked
Bennett Boskey Harvard (1939) 1941, 1942

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Cite this Page
Harlan Fiske Stone. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 11 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/harlan_fiske_stone?page=1&order=field_education_value&sort=asc>.
Harlan Fiske Stone, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/harlan_fiske_stone?page=1&order=field_education_value&sort=asc (last visited September 11, 2014).
"Harlan Fiske Stone," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 11, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/justices/harlan_fiske_stone?page=1&order=field_education_value&sort=asc.