- Stewart, Potter
born Jan. 23, 1915, Jackson, Mich., U.S.died Dec. 7, 1985, Hanover, N.H.U.S. jurist.He studied law at Yale University and was admitted to the bar in New York and Ohio in 1941. After settling in Cincinnati, Ohio, he served on the city council and as vice mayor before his appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1954. In 1958 Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him to the Supreme Court of the United States, where he served until 1981. A moderate, he wrote the majority opinion in the Shelton v. Tucker case, which held unconstitutional the requirement that teachers list all the associations to which they belong, and also wrote a memorable dissent in Miranda v. Arizona, in which he argued that the court's decision provided too much protection to defendants and undermined the ability of the police to enforce the law. He is perhaps best remembered for summarizing the difficulty in defining obscenity, writing in a concurring opinion that "I know it when I see it."
* * *▪ United States juristborn Jan. 23, 1915, Jackson, Mich., U.S.died Dec. 7, 1985, Hanover, N.H.associate justice of the United States Supreme Court (1958–81).Stewart was admitted to the bar in New York and Ohio in 1941 and after World War II settled in Cincinnati. He served on the city council and as vice mayor before his appointment to the Court of Appeals for the sixth district in 1954. In 1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court.Voting generally with the conservative bloc, Stewart was often described during the 1960s as the “swing man” on close court decisions involving the exercise of government powers. In Shelton v. Tucker he wrote the majority opinion holding unconstitutional a requirement that teachers list all their associations. Stewart also wrote a number of memorable dissents in cases involving individual freedoms, including Engel v. Vitale, Griswold v. Connecticut, and Miranda v. Arizona. In his dissents, as in his opinions, Stewart sought to define rather than deny the exercise of governmental powers. He retired from the court in 1981.
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