Potter Stewart standard

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Potter Stewart standard2016-12-09T20:38:28+00:00
Potter Stewart standard image from New Medical Terms

Potter Stewart

Potter Stewart standard


A popular term for a disease or lesion which is difficult to define but readily recognised by a competent practitioner

The term pays homage to Potter Stewart (1915-1985), a US Supreme Court Justice (image, left), who served the Court from 1959 until 1981), and famously said of pornography, ‘I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it’ in his concurring opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio 378 U.S. 184 (1964). 

Synonym The I-know-it-when-I-see-it standard 

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