Potter Stewart

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Potter Stewart (January 23, 1915December 7, 1985) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.


  • The Fourth Amendment and the personal rights it secures have a long history. At the very core stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.
  • I think that the court has misapplied a great constitutional principle. I cannot see how 'official religion' is established by letting those who want to say a prayer say it. On the contrary, I think that to deny the wish of these school children to join in reciting this prayer is to deny them the opportunity of sharing in the spiritual heritage of the nation.
  • I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.
  • Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.
  • Several decisions of this Court make clear that freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. . . . That right necessarily includes the right of a woman to decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.
    • Concurring, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 169-170 (1973).

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