Harlan Fiske Stone

Harlan Fiske Stone

Harlan Fiske Stone was born in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, on 11th October, 1872. After graduating from Columbia University in 1898 he worked as a lawyer in New York City.

In 1924 Calvin Coolidge appointed Stone as his attorney general and was responsible for reorganizing the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The following year Coolidge appointed Stone as a member of the Supreme Court.

Over the next few years Stone, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis, emerged as the three liberal justices who defended legislation that had been passed to protect women, children and trade unions from business interests. However, they were in a minority and this legislation was often judged to be unconstitutional.

During the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Stone disagreed with the conservative members of the Supreme Court that much of the New Deal legislation was unconstitutional.

When Charles Evans Hughes retired in 1941, Roosevelt appointed Stone as chief justice. During the Second World War he argued that religious pacifists who refused to take the statutory oath to bear arms could still be naturalized as citizens.

Harlan Fiske Stone died in Washington, on 22nd April, 1946.