Last modified on 3 April 2009, at 20:59

Harlan Fiske Stone

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Bust of Chief Justice Harlan Stone

Harlan Fiske Stone (1872–1946) was the Chief Justice of the United States from 1941 to 1946, when he died on the bench, and an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1925 to 1941.

He had been a classmate at Amherst College of future President Calvin Coolidge, and was Coolidge's only appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Rather than serving as a conservative jurist one might expect from President Coolidge, Justice Stone became a loyal supporter of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. He was rewarded when President Roosevelt elevated him to be Chief Justice when that vacancy occurred.

Justice Stone's most influential opinion for the Court was United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144 (1938), in which he penned a "footnote 4" that became increasingly popular to justify judicial activism with respect to social issues.