Question About Justice Stone

Cogan Neil ncogan at
Wed Oct 21 17:28:30 PDT 2009

Edward Levi would have been a great Supreme Court justice.  But it is hard to quarrel with Levi's role in urging President Ford to nominate Justice John Paul Stevens instead.

Neil H. Cogan

Professor of Law
Whittier Law School
3333 Harbor Boulevard
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
From: conlawprof-bounces at [conlawprof-bounces at] On Behalf Of Mark Tushnet [mtushnet at]
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 5:16 PM
To: David Bernstein; conlawprof at
Subject: RE: Question About Justice Stone

There are certainly better informed list-members than I about this, but I think it was that Stone had been a successful Attorney-General, stepping after the corrupt Harry Daugherty [sp?], similar to Edward Levin in modern times, and the Supreme Court appointment was a reward for his work as AG.  Taft vetted the Harding appointees for ideological "purity," but couldn't play that role with respect to Stone.  Not exactly a Souter-like appointment, but not in a different ballpark either.

Mark Tushnet
William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law
Harvard Law School
Areeda 223
Cambridge, MA  02138
ph:  617-496-4451 (office); 202-374-9571 (mobile)

-----Original Message-----
From: conlawprof-bounces at on behalf of David Bernstein
Sent: Wed 10/21/2009 7:08 PM
To: conlawprof at
Subject: Question About Justice Stone

As we all know, upon appointment to the USSC, Justice Stone quickly joined
Holmes and Brandeis on the "left" of the Court.  By contrast, all four
Harding appointments wound up on the "right."  Were Stone's jurisprudential
views known to Coolidge and others?  Was he the Justice Souter of 1925?  Was
this just an example of appointing an establishment, well-respected figure
to the Court whose views turned out to be more "liberal" than anyone
anticipated at the time?

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