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Harlan Fiske Stone

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Virtually pristine signed Supreme Court card

Harlan Fiske Stone, 1872–1946.  Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court, 1925–1941; Chief Justice of the United States, 1941–1946.  Vintage card engraved “Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D.C.,” boldly signed, Harlan F. Stone.

Stoneʼs signed Supreme Court cards are rather difficult to find, and this one is virtually pristine.

Stone served more than 21 years on the Supreme Court.  His Amherst College classmate, President Calvin Coolidge, appointed him to the Court in 1925 to succeed Justice Joseph McKenna.  In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt elevated him to the position of Chief Justice.  He remained on the Court until he died unexpectedly in 1946.

Stone graduated from Columbia University law school in 1898, joined its faculty four years later, and by 1910 was its dean.  He left Columbia in 1923, and in 1924 Coolidge appointed him Attorney General.  He helped to restore public confidence in the Department of Justice after the Teapot Dome scandal of the Harding Administration.

As an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Stone established a reputation for his strong dissents, especially those in which he defended New Deal social and economic welfare legislation against the conservative majority.  Thus, although Stone was a Republican, Roosevelt named him Chief Justice upon the retirement of Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. As the composition of the Court changed, ultimately many of Stone's dissents became the majority view.

This card bears a beautiful fountain pen signature by Chief Justice Stone.  It is in very fine condition, and only a small, lightly soiled spot in the lower left corner, which could actually be part of the surface of the card, keeps us from grading this card extra fine.

Unframed.  Click here for information about custom framing this piece.


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