Seated within a three-panel screen, an old Negro pulls a red plush cord to swing open a small door and admit you to the Supreme Court of the U. S. Mounting two steps around a partition, you come abruptly into the court chamber. Facing you sit the nine Justices of the U. S. seated augustly behind their long desk-like bench. You immediately identify Chief Justice Taft, ponderous in the centre. The small semicircular chamber is dimly lighted. Faces, features, are not sharp. Level voices fall without echo in the shadows.

Scanning the bench, an inquisitive eye moving to the right, comes to rest upon a large man in the last high-backed chair. Attention is fastened by his breadth of black-gowned shoulder, breadth of fore head, breadth of jaw. Other Justices break in to ask attorneys questions, but this one sits silently intent upon the argument, his square chin cupped in his palm, his elbow propped on the table before him. His light blue eyes are small, concentrated, penetrating. His dark brown hair, quickly parted on the left, looks slightly disarranged. He is Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, the junior member of the Court.

Last week, through the Press, the long arm of Rumor reached out and tried to pluck Justice Stone from the sanctity of the supreme chamber and place him at the head of the Law Enforcement Commission which President Hoover is slowly selecting. Annoyed or embarrassed, Justice Stone protested: "The matter has not been proposed to me nor have I it under consideration or in mind in any way."

A certain reasonableness underlay the Rumor. Between President Hoover and Justice Stone exists a thoroughgoing friendship. Justice Stone was in the Hoover family circle the night its head was nominated at Kansas City. He fished with the President-Elect Hoover off Florida, and there suggested the name of William DeWitt Mitchell for Attorney-General. He dropped in for a friendly morning chat the day Mr. Hoover became President. He was among the first asked to join the medicine-ball exercise at 7 a. m. back of the White House (see map, p. 10).

Justice Stone played guard on Amherst football teams when slender, rusty-haired Calvin Coolidge was there at college, a class behind. A powerful man of 200 lb., he knocked the wind out of President Hoover in one of the medicine-ball games last month. For two days little Hugh Gibson, U. S. Ambassador to Belgium (see p. 21), bore a red mark on his nose after attempting to catch one of Justice Stone's mighty throws. The Stone roughness was sufficient to cause protests to the President; reminders that, after all, it was "all-in-fun."

Also in the field of law does Justice Stone stand strongly forth. No legal job is too hard for him to tackle. Well has he always guarded the public interest. Within him is centered a broad and understanding humanity to temper his justice. Tackle, guard or centre—Justice Stone has always been a comfort to the coach, in Washington as on the Amherst Gridiron.

He was born 57 years ago in Chesterfield, N. H. At Amherst College he studied science, was called "Doc" and chosen class president. Sabrina, Amherst's famed 350-lb. "goddess" statue, was stolen from the class of '93 for the '94 class dinner. Afterwards, "Doc" Stone helped sneak Sabrina to the barn of Herman C. Harvey, back in Chesterfield, there to hide her away under the floor from Calvin Coolidge's class. Agnes Harvey, Mr. Harvey's daughter, was a discreet girl. She could keep the secret of Sabrina. "Doc" Stone married her.

Graduated from the Columbia Law School in 1898, Mr. Stone first became a professor there, then went into the law firm of Satterlee, Canfield & Stone, returning to Columbia in 1910 to serve as the Law School's dean. In 1924 President Coolidge, who never forgot a good man, called him to Washington, made him Attorney-General, asked him to ventilate thoroughly the Department of Justice after Harry Micajah Daugherty. Within a year President Coolidge advanced him to the Supreme Court to succeed Justice Joseph McKenna, resigned.

Justice Stone has just finished building a red brick house a block away from Chief Justice Taft's on Wyoming Avenue. To insure getting everything he wanted within it, he drew the contract for its construction himself.

Many an observer has commented on the likelihood of Junior Justice Stone's making, sooner or later, the one judicial step higher that remains for him. It is well within probability that President Hoover, especially if he is an eight-year President, will have the appointing of the next Chief Justice. There have been ten Chief Justices. Everyone since 1800 has died in office. Eight of them (Jay, Ellsworth, Marshall, Taney, Chase, Waite, Fuller. Taft) were called from outside the Supreme Court.

Only two Chief Justices were promoted from the bench. To one of these, John Rutledge of South Carolina, chosen by President Washington to succeed John Jay, the Senate refused confirmation and he had to resign. Jefferson observed sarcastically to Monroe that Washington's purpose had apparently been "to keep five mouths always gaping for one sugar plum."* But in 1910, when President Taft successfully elevated Edward Douglass White, the precedent was broken.

In his five years on the Supreme bench, Justice Stone has displayed a breadth of character and humanity to confound the six Senate critics who voted against his confirmation. They still wonder whether he is a liberal conservative or a conservative liberal. More and more has he joined intellectual forces with those two celebrated dissenters of the bench, Justices Holmes and Brandeis. With them he lined up, for example, against the Court's approval of wiretapping as a means of obtaining Prohibition evidence. Every legal controversy is of deep interest to him. He avoids the specialization of some of his associates on the bench. In his first four years he wrote 108 opinions. Tackle or guard, he is a comfort to the Chief Justice at centre. Perhaps he will be shifted to centre.

Recess. Last week the Supreme Court recessed for a fortnight to catch up on its calendar, preparatory to adjournment early in June. During this term (from October) four notable cases have been decided by the court: 1) Great Lakes water diversion; 2) Oilman Harry Ford Sinclair's contempt of the Senate; 3) New York's 5¢ Fare; 4) Canadian immigration. Three notable cases pending are: 1) Oilman Sinclair's contempt of court (jury shadowing); 2) St. Louis & O'Fallon railway valuation; 3) presidential pocket vetoes.