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U.S. Supreme Court

Law Student Snags Potter Stewart’s Briefcase in Estate Sale of Late Justice’s Belongings

Posted Dec 5, 2011 7:41 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Law student Adam Fernandez plans to carry Potter Stewart’s briefcase when he becomes a lawyer.

Fernandez, 29, was among the shoppers at an estate sale Saturday at the home of the late Justice Potter Stewart in Northwest Washington, D.C., the Washington Post reports.

“I’m a law student here in D.C.,” he told the newspaper. “I’m in my third year, and I’m going to be a real lawyer soon, and I think I’ll be using this briefcase.”

According to the Post, would-be buyers lined up beginning at about 4 a.m. on Saturday. Objects for sale included “books, paintings, statues, Pyrex bowls and a collection of psychedelic gowns from the 1960s and ’70s.” Specific items included a cast iron lion and unicorn from Stewart’s Supreme Court office, priced at $800, and a signed copy of War and Peace.

Stewart may be best known for his observation in a pornography case that “I know it when I see it.” He died in 1985 at the age of 70. His wife, Mary Ann, who is in her 90s, lives in a family home in New Hampshire.

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