Law Clerk John Costelloe's Photographs of the Stone Court Justices, October 1943
46 Journal of Supreme Court History 162-180 (2021)
Posted: 29 Oct 2021 Last revised: 17 Dec 2021
Date Written: 2021
When U.S. Attorney General Robert H. Jackson was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in Summer 1941, he brought a young Department of Justice lawyer, John F. Costelloe, with him to be his law clerk.
John Costelloe was an excellent law clerk. He worked with Justice Jackson at the Court for more than two years, including on Jackson’s now-canonical opinions for the Court in Wickard v. Filburn (1942) and West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943).
John Costelloe also was a talented photographer. In October 1943, as Costelloe was completing his clerkship, he got each Supreme Court Justice to pose for his camera.
Costelloe later developed and printed close, candid portrait photographs of the Justices: Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone and Associate Justices Owen J. Roberts, Hugo L. Black, Stanley Reed, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy, Robert H. Jackson, and Wiley Rutledge.
John F. Costelloe’s portrait photographs of the Justices are published here for the first time, in an article on Costelloe, Jackson, their close relationship, and the history of the photographs.
Keywords: Supreme Court, John F. Costelloe, Robert H. Jackson, law clerk, Justices, photographs
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