Harlan Fiske Stone

United States federal judge (1872-1946)

Harlan Fiske Stone (October 11, 1872 – April 22, 1946) was an American lawyer and jurist. He served as the dean of Columbia Law School, his alma mater, in the early 20th century.

Harlan Fiske Stone
Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone photograph circa 1927-1932.jpg
12th Chief Justice of the United States
In office
July 3, 1941 – April 22, 1946
Nominated byFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byCharles Evans Hughes
Succeeded byFred M. Vinson
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
In office
February 5, 1925[1] – July 3, 1941
Nominated byCalvin Coolidge
Preceded byJoseph McKenna
Succeeded byRobert H. Jackson
52nd United States Attorney General
In office
April 7, 1924 – March 1, 1925
Nominated byCalvin Coolidge
Preceded byHarry M. Daugherty
Succeeded byJohn G. Sargent
Personal details
Harlan Fiske Stone

(1872-10-11)October 11, 1872
Chesterfield, New Hampshire, United States
DiedApril 22, 1946(1946-04-22) (aged 73)
Washington, D.C., United States
Spouse(s)Agnes E. Harvey (1899 - 1946, his death)
ChildrenMarshall Harvey Stone
Lauson Harvey Stone
Alma materAmherst College,
Columbia University

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 United States, serving until his death in 1946 – one of the shortest terms of any Chief Justice.[2] Stone was the first Chief Justice not to have served in elected office.

His most famous quotes was: "Courts are not the only agency of government that must be assumed to have capacity to govern."[3]


  1. "Federal Judicial Center: Harlan Fiske Stone". December 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-12. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  2. Ariens, Michael, Harlan Fiske Stone
  3. Frank, John P.; Mason, Alpheus Thomas (1957). "Harlan Fiske Stone: An Estimate". Stanford Law Review. 9 (3): 621–632. doi:10.2307/1226615. JSTOR 1226615. Frank cites "United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1, 87 (1936) (dissenting opinion)".

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