The Supreme Court: Stone Court, 1941 to 1946

Stone Court, 1941 to 1946

President Franklin Roosevelt promoted Harlan Stone to the seat of chief justice in 1941 because he was a leader in the fight against the principle of laissez faire as the basis for the constitution. Stone was first appointed to the Court as an associate justice in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge.

Although Stone was widely recognized as the intellectual leader of the Court, he did not prove to be an effective chief justice. The Court was strongly divided throughout his tenure. World War II also stymied any major decisions by the Court because it did not want to appear to question the government in the time of war.

One major case during this time was Korematsu v. United States (1944), in which the Court ruled that the government had the right to intern citizens of Japanese ancestry in Relocation Centers.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Supreme Court © 2004 by Lita Epstein, J.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.