|July 3, 1941 – April 22, 1946|
(4 years, 293 days)
|Seat|| Supreme Court Building |
|No. of positions||9|
|Stone Court decisions|
The Stone Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1941 to 1946, when Harlan F. Stone served as Chief Justice of the United States. Stone succeeded Charles Evans Hughes as Chief Justice after the latter's retirement, and Stone served as Chief Justice until his death, at which point Fred Vinson was nominated and confirmed as Stone's replacement. He was the fourth chief justice to have previously served as an associate justice and the second to have done so without a break in tenure (after Edward Douglass White). Presiding over the country during World War II, the Stone Court delivered several important war-time rulings, such as in Ex parte Quirin , where it upheld the President's power to try Nazi saboteurs captured on American soil by military tribunals.He also supported the federal government's policy of relocating Japanese Americans into internment camps.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America, established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal and state court cases that involve a point of federal law, and original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors. The Court holds the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution. Presidential directives can be struck down by the Court for violating either the Constitution or statutory law. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The Court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide non-justiciable political questions.
Harlan Fiske Stone was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1925 to 1941 and then as the Chief Justice of the United States from 1941 until his death in 1946. He also served as the U.S. Attorney General from 1924 to 1925 under President Calvin Coolidge, with whom he had attended Amherst College as a young man. His most famous dictum was: "Courts are not the only agency of government that must be assumed to have capacity to govern."
The chief justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, and as such the highest-ranking officer of the federal judiciary. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants plenary power to the president of the United States to nominate, and with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, appoint a chief justice, who serves until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die.
The Stone Court began in 1941, when Associate Justice Stone was confirmed to replace Charles Evans Hughes as Chief Justice. Stone had served as an Associate Justice since 1925, when President Calvin Coolidge nominated him to the bench. During the Court's 1932–37 terms, Stone and justices Brandeis and Cardozo formed a liberal bloc called the Three Musketeers that generally voted to uphold the constitutionality of the New Deal.
Calvin Coolidge was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 30th president of the United States from 1923 to 1929. A Republican lawyer from New England, born in Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor. His response to the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action. The next year, he was elected vice president of the United States, and he succeeded to the presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small government conservative and also as a man who said very little and had a rather dry sense of humor.
Louis Dembitz Brandeis was an American lawyer and associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Jewish immigrant parents from Bohemia, who raised him in a secular home. He attended Harvard Law School, graduating at the age of 20 with what is widely rumored to be the highest grade average in the law school's history. Brandeis settled in Boston, where he founded a law firm and became a recognized lawyer through his work on progressive social causes.
Benjamin Nathan Cardozo was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Previously, he had served as the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. Cardozo is remembered for his significant influence on the development of American common law in the 20th century, in addition to his philosophy and vivid prose style.
At the beginning of Stone's chief-justiceship, the Court consisted of Stone, Owen Roberts, Hugo Black, Stanley F. Reed, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy, James F. Byrnes, and Robert H. Jackson (the latter two joined the court days after Stone's elevation to Chief Justice). In October 1942, Byrnes resigned from the court to become the war-time Director of the Office of Economic Stabilization; Roosevelt appointed Wiley Blount Rutledge as his replacement. Owen Roberts retired in July 1945, and President Harry Truman appointed Harold Hitz Burton to replace him.
Owen Josephus Roberts was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1930 to 1945. He also led two Roberts Commissions, the first of which investigated the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the second of which focused on works of cultural value during World War II.
Hugo Lafayette Black was an American politician and jurist who served in the United States Senate from 1927 to 1937, and as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1937 to 1971. A member of the Democratic Party and a devoted New Dealer, Black endorsed Franklin D. Roosevelt in both the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections. Having gained a reputation in the Senate as a reformer, Black was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Roosevelt and confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 63 to 16. He was the first of nine Roosevelt nominees to the Court, and he outlasted all except for William O. Douglas.
Felix Frankfurter was an Austrian-American lawyer, professor, and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Frankfurter served on the Supreme Court from 1939 to 1962 and was a noted advocate of judicial restraint in the judgments of the Court.
Shortly before V-E Day, Truman named Justice Jackson to serve as U.S. Chief of Counsel for the prosecution of high-ranking German officials accused of war crimes at the 1945–46 Nuremberg trials. As a result, Jackson was absent for one entire Court term, and his fellow justices had to do an extra amount of work during the term.Stone died on April 22, 1946 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. Truman subsequently appointed Fred Vinson as Stone's successor.
Victory in Europe Day, generally known as VE Day or V-E Day, is a day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces on the 8 May 1945.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, and military necessity.
Major rulings of the Stone Court include:
Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60 (1942), is a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on two issues of constitutional criminal procedure. Glasser was the first Supreme Court decision to hold that the Assistance of Counsel Clause of the Sixth Amendment required the reversal of a criminal defendant's conviction if his lawyer's representation of him was limited by a conflict of interest.
A conflict of interest (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, and serving one interest could involve working against another. Typically, this relates to situations in which the personal interest of an individual or organization might adversely affect a duty owed to make decisions for the benefit of a third party.
Jury selection is the selection of the people who will serve on a jury during a jury trial. The group of potential jurors is first selected from among the community using a reasonably random method. Jury lists are compiled from voter registrations and driver license or ID renewals. From those lists, summons are mailed. A panel of jurors is then assigned to a courtroom.
Stone had largely sided with the government's position when the Hughes Court struck down several pieces of New Deal legislation, and the Stone Court (with the addition of several Roosevelt appointees) consistently upheld Congressional power pursuant to the Commerce Clause.The Stone Court also upheld broad war-time powers for the government. The Stone Court was less deferential in the area of civil liberties, striking down laws in cases such as Barnett, although Korematsu was a major exception to this trend. Despite Roosevelt's appointment of seven of the nine justices (and the elevation of Stone), the justices held independent views and often found each other at odds in regard to civil liberties. Stone himself received criticism for presiding over a divided and quarrelsome court. Justice Frankfurter often took a position supporting judicial restraint in which the court took deference to the decisions of elected officials, while Justices Black and Douglas were more willing to strike down laws and precedents for what they saw as violations of constitutional rights. Murphy and Rutledge joined Black and Douglas as part of the more liberal bloc, while Jackson, Reed, and Stone tended to side with Frankfurter. Roberts often sided with the Frankfurter bloc, but was more conservative than the other eight justices. Though outnumbered, the more liberal bloc led by Black and Douglas often took the majority in cases by peeling off the votes from the moderate bloc, and the two groupings of justices did not form as tight of blocs as had existed in the Hughes Court. The short length of the Stone Court gave it little chance to establish a definitive legacy. However, the Stone Court continued the Constitutional Revolution of 1937 that had started during the Hughes Court and foreshadowed the liberal rulings of the Warren Court.
The Hughes Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1930 to 1941, when Charles Evans Hughes served as Chief Justice of the United States. Hughes succeeded William Howard Taft as Chief Justice after the latter's retirement, and Hughes served as Chief Justice until his retirement, at which point Harlan Stone was nominated and confirmed as Hughes's replacement. The Supreme Court moved from its former quarters at the United States Capitol to the newly constructed Supreme Court Building during Hughes's chief-justiceship.
The New Deal was a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States between 1933 and 1936. It responded to needs for relief, reform, and recovery from the Great Depression. Major federal programs included the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Farm Security Administration (FSA), the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 (NIRA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). They provided support for farmers, the unemployed, youth and the elderly. The New Deal included new constraints and safeguards on the banking industry and efforts to re-inflate the economy after prices had fallen sharply. New Deal programs included both laws passed by Congress as well as presidential executive orders during the first term of the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Judicial restraint is a theory of judicial interpretation that encourages judges to limit the exercise of their own power. It asserts that judges should hesitate to strike down laws unless they are obviously unconstitutional, though what counts as obviously unconstitutional is itself a matter of some debate. Judicial restraint is sometimes regarded as the opposite of judicial activism. In deciding questions of constitutional law, judicially restrained jurists go to great lengths to defer to the legislature. Judicially restrained judges respect stare decisis, the principle of upholding established precedent handed down by past judges. This doctrine states how domestic courts will abstain from passing judgement over the acts of a foreign sovereign done in its own territory.
Charles Evans Hughes Sr. was an American statesman, Republican Party politician, and the 11th Chief Justice of the United States. He was also the 36th Governor of New York, the Republican presidential nominee in the 1916 presidential election, and the 44th United States Secretary of State.
Stanley Forman Reed was a noted American attorney who served as United States Solicitor General from 1935 to 1938 and as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1938 to 1957.
Frederick "Fred" Moore Vinson was an American Democratic politician who served the United States in all three branches of government. The most prominent member of the Vinson political family, he was the 53rd United States Secretary of the Treasury and the 13th Chief Justice of the United States.
"The switch in time that saved nine" is the name given to what was perceived as the sudden jurisprudential shift by Associate Justice Owen Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1937 case West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish. Conventional historical accounts portrayed the Court's majority opinion as a strategic political move to protect the Court's integrity and independence from President Franklin Roosevelt's court-reform bill, which would have expanded the size of the bench up to 15 justices, though it has been argued that these accounts have misconstrued the historical record.
The Roberts Court is the time since 2005 during which the Supreme Court of the United States has been led by Chief Justice John Roberts. It is generally considered more conservative than the preceding Rehnquist Court, as a result of the retirement of moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the subsequent confirmation of the more conservative Justice Samuel Alito in her place.
The Marshall Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1801 to 1835, when John Marshall served as the fourth Chief Justice of the United States. Marshall served as Chief Justice until his death, at which point Roger Taney took office. The Marshall Court played a major role in increasing the power of the judicial branch, as well as the power of the national government.
The Burger Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1969 to 1986, when Warren Burger served as Chief Justice of the United States. Burger succeeded Earl Warren as Chief Justice after the latter's retirement, and Burger served as Chief Justice until his retirement, at which point William Rehnquist was nominated and confirmed as Burger's replacement. The Burger Court has been described as a "transitional" court which continued the liberal legacy of the Warren Court but transitioned into the more conservative Rehnquist Court.
The Taney Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1836 to 1864, when Roger Taney served as the fifth Chief Justice of the United States. Taney succeeded John Marshall as Chief Justice after Marshall's death in 1835. Taney served as Chief Justice until his death in 1864, at which point Salmon P. Chase took office. Taney had been an important member of Andrew Jackson's administration, an advocate of Jacksonian democracy, and had played a major role in the Bank War, during which Taney wrote a memo questioning the Supreme Court's power of judicial review. However, the Taney Court did not strongly break from the decisions and precedents of the Marshall Court, as it continued to uphold a strong federal government with an independent judiciary. Most of the Taney Court's holdings are overshadowed by the Dred Scott decision, in which the court ruled that African-Americans could not be citizens. However, the Taney Court's decisions regarding economic issues and separation of powers set important precedents, and the Taney Court has been lauded for its ability to adapt regulatory law to a country undergoing remarkable technological and economic progress.
West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of state minimum wage legislation. The court's decision overturning an earlier holding in Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923) and is generally regarded as having ended the Lochner era, a period in American legal history during which the Supreme Court tended to invalidate legislation aimed at regulating business.
The Gold Clause Cases were a series of actions brought before the Supreme Court of the United States, in which the court narrowly upheld restrictions on the ownership of gold implemented by the administration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in order to fight the Great Depression. The last in this series of cases is notable as the most recent Supreme Court opinion whose outcome was leaked to the press before the official release of its decision. The cases were:
The Waite Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1874 to 1888, when Morrison Waite served as the seventh Chief Justice of the United States. Waite succeeded Salmon P. Chase as Chief Justice after the latter's death. Waite served as Chief Justice until his death, at which point Melville Fuller was nominated and confirmed as Waite's successor.
The Vinson Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1946 to 1953, when Fred Vinson served as Chief Justice of the United States. Vinson succeeded Harlan F. Stone as Chief Justice after the latter's death, and Vinson served as Chief Justice until his death, at which point Earl Warren was nominated and confirmed to succeed Vinson.
The Taft Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1921 to 1930, when William Howard Taft served as Chief Justice of the United States. Taft succeeded Edward Douglass White as Chief Justice after the latter's death, and Taft served as Chief Justice until his resignation, at which point Charles Evans Hughes was nominated and confirmed as Taft's replacement. Taft was also the nation's 27th president (1909–13); he is the only person to serve as both President of the United States and Chief Justice.
The White Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1910 to 1921, when Edward Douglass White served as Chief Justice of the United States. White, an associate justice since 1894, succeeded Melville Fuller as Chief Justice after the latter's death, and White served as Chief Justice until his death a decade later. He was the first sitting associate justice to be elevated to chief justice in the Court's history. He was succeeded by former president William Howard Taft.
The Fuller Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1888 to 1910, when Melville Fuller served as the eighth Chief Justice of the United States. Fuller succeeded Morrison R. Waite as Chief Justice after the latter's death, and Fuller served as Chief Justice until his death, at which point Associate Justice Edward Douglass White was nominated and confirmed as Fuller's replacement.
The New Deal often encountered heavy criticism, and had many constitutional challenges.