Joel Jacobsen


During Potter Stewart’s 23 years on the Supreme Court he served with 17 other justices. All but four of the 17 have been the subject of at least one book-length biography, and the careers or decisions of the remaining four have been closely examined in scholarly monographs. Potter Stewart is the only one in his cohort of justices who has not had a book written about him or his work. If a person runs a search for “Stewart, Potter” in the Library of Congress on-line catalogue, the only hits that person will receive are for two collections of letters deposited by the heirs of other men.

This article brings together some of my research for a book that examines one of Potter Stewart’s better-known opinions. It is not intended to be a comprehensive portrait of Justice Stewart. It is drawn largely from public sources. It is my hope that publishing this article will encourage another researcher to undertake that long-overdue biography while many of Justice Stewart’s contemporaries are still alive and available to be interviewed.