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Copyright (c) 1987 Tennessee Law Review Association, Inc.
Tennessee Law Review


* Justice Stewart's remarks were transcribed from a videotape and edited slightly for publication. This press conference was held June 19, 1981, in the Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. Professor Marsel accepts sole responsibility for any inadequacies in the footnotes; the assistance of Eileen Tiligman, Sharon Davidson and Eugene Mercier is gratefully acknowledged.

FALL, 1987

55 Tenn. L. Rev. 21


Justice Stewart: Good morning ladies and gentlemen; I asked anybody who was interested to be here today because I thought it might be easier, as well as fairer, for us if I talk to you as a group rather than individually. I am very glad to be able to do so, and I am glad to see all of you. One of the questions that seems to be on people's mind is what led me to the decision to announce my retirement. I suppose the answers to that question are several. For one thing, when I became a member of the United States Court of Appeals I was the youngest federal judge in the country and I thought it might be a good idea to retire before I became one of the oldest ones. Secondly, I've never missed an argument day on the Court. That's not anything that I brag about very much because I remember that one of the dullest students in school was a classmate who won the attendance prize. Thirdly, I've always been a firm believer in the principle that it's better to go too soon than to stay too long. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I wanted to have an opportunity to spend more time with my wife, Andy, and hopefully, with our children and grandchildren while I was still relatively young and healthy. Those are the basic reasons. None of them very dramatic, if you will, but all of them very important to me. ...
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