While poring over briefs in his Cincinnati office last week, youthful (43) Federal Judge Potter Stewart got a terse telephone call from Attorney General William P. Rogers. Could Stewart catch a plane for Washington right away? Judge Stewart said that his duties on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals were pressing him, asked whether the matter was really important. Rogers assured him that it was.

Later that afternoon Stewart's wife Mary Ann drove him to the airport. "He was jittery," she recalls. "He kept wondering what had gone wrong." While sitting in his room in Washington's Statler Hilton Hotel...

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