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Harlan Fiske Stone, photograph by Harris & Ewing, March 1925

U.S. Supreme Court Collection, Supreme Court Archives and Museum

Harlan Fiske Stone, photograph by Harris & Ewing, March 1925

The Senate Questions a Court Nominee

President Calvin Coolidge nominated Harlan Fiske Stone as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1925. Stone, the U.S. attorney general, was a widely respected lawyer. The Senate Committee on the Judiciary initially recommended his confirmation, but the matter was returned to the committee at the urging of members concerned about Stone’s investigative work and Wall Street connections. To address those concerns, Stone volunteered to appear in person before the committee—the first court nominee ever to do so.

Presidential appointments of Supreme Court justices require the Senate’s advice and consent. In 1925 Supreme Court nominee Harlan Fiske Stone set a precedent by appearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for questioning.