Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Constitutional War

The Court-packing Crisis of 1937

Author: Marian Cecilia McKenna

Publisher: Fordham Univ Press

ISBN: 9780823221547

Category: History

Page: 612

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This new history of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the "Great Constitutional War" is a critical, revisionist portrayal of FDR's personal role in initiating, with the advice of his attorney general, Homer S. Cummings, a "reorganization of the federal judiciary," or what in fact constituted a bald-faced attempt to "pack" the Supreme Court in 1937. No issue in domestic politics ever aroused the country>'s anger as did the presidential proposal to increase the size of the Supreme Court to fifteen by giving the president power to appoint a new judge for every justice over the age of 70 who refused to resign or retire. For background, the case histories which led up to this bold stroke are, for the first time, chronicled and analyzed in a setting that places the stirring events which ensued in their proper perspective. The importance of the book's subject, the thorough documentation, its reasoned and reasonable criticism, all set forth in a lively, but lucid writing style should give this book a popular readership that reaches well beyond academia.
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Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court

Author: Jeff Shesol

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393079418

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 1799

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"A stunning work of history."—Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of No Ordinary Time and Team of Rivals Beginning in 1935, the Supreme Court's conservative majority left much of FDR's agenda in ruins. The pillars of the New Deal fell in short succession. It was not just the New Deal but democracy itself that stood on trial. In February 1937, Roosevelt struck back with an audacious plan to expand the Court to fifteen justices—and to "pack" the new seats with liberals who shared his belief in a "living" Constitution.
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Landmark Debates in Congress

Author: Stephen W Stathis

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 0872899764

Category: Political Science

Page: 514

View: 7760

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Examines more than fifty significant congressional debates, arranged in chronological order and accompanied by introductory essays that outline the opposing forces and historical context of each debate.
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The Supreme Court Reborn

The Constitutional Revolution in the Age of Roosevelt

Author: William E. Leuchtenburg

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198027157

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 3136

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For almost sixty years, the results of the New Deal have been an accepted part of political life. Social Security, to take one example, is now seen as every American's birthright. But to validate this revolutionary legislation, Franklin Roosevelt had to fight a ferocious battle against the opposition of the Supreme Court--which was entrenched in laissez faire orthodoxy. After many lost battles, Roosevelt won his war with the Court, launching a Constitutional revolution that went far beyond anything he envisioned. In The Supreme Court Reborn, esteemed scholar William E. Leuchtenburg explores the critical episodes of the legal revolution that created the Court we know today. Leuchtenburg deftly portrays the events leading up to Roosevelt's showdown with the Supreme Court. Committed to laissez faire doctrine, the conservative "Four Horsemen"--Justices Butler, Van Devanter, Sutherland, and McReynolds, aided by the swing vote of Justice Owen Roberts--struck down one regulatory law after another, outraging Roosevelt and much of the Depression-stricken nation. Leuchtenburg demonstrates that Roosevelt thought he had the backing of the country as he prepared a scheme to undermine the Four Hoursemen. Famous (or infamous) as the "Court-packing plan," this proposal would have allowed the president to add one new justice for every sitting justice over the age of seventy. The plan picked up considerable momentum in Congress; it was only after a change in the voting of Justice Roberts (called "the switch in time that saved nine") and the death of Senate Majority Leader Joseph T. Robinson that it shuddered to a halt. Rosevelt's persistence led to one of his biggest legislative defeats. Despite the failure of the Court-packing plan, however, the president won his battle with the Supreme Court; one by one, the Four Horsemen left the bench, to be replaced by Roosevelt appointees. Leuchtenburg explores the far-reaching nature of FDR's victory. As a consequence of the Constitutional Revolution that began in 1937, not only was the New Deal upheld (as precedent after precedent was overturned), but also the Court began a dramatic expansion of Civil liberties that would culminate in the Warren Court. Among the surprises was Senator Hugo Black, who faced widespread opposition for his lack of qualifications when he was appointed as associate justice; shortly afterward, a reporter revealed that he had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Despite that background, Black became an articulate spokesman for individual liberty. William E. Leuchtenburg is one of America's premier historians, a scholar who combines depth of learning with a graceful style. This superbly crafted book sheds new light on the great Constitutional crisis of our century, illuminating the legal and political battles that created today's Supreme Court.
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American Constitutional Law

Author: Louis Fisher,David Gray Adler

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law

Page: 1145

View: 2464

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The only book that develops constitutional law in the comprehensive sense, American Constitutional Law not only contains the results of court decisions but also highlights the efforts of legislatures, executives, the states, and the general public. Available in two formats a single, hardback volume or two paperback volumes it covers all new developments in case law, congressional statutes, presidential policies, and initiatives undertaken by states under their own constitutions.Most constitutional law books focus only on case law and judicial pronouncements, but American Constitutional Law illustrates how both judicial and non-judicial forces shape constitutional law. Compared to other texts, this book offers more citations to earlier decisions, allowing the reader to research areas in greater depth and better understand the process of trial and error used to shape constitutional principles. A broad range of cases (not just landmark cases) is combined with nonjudicial contributions. Fisher and Adler also cover state involvement in constitutional law by offering examples of how states, by interpreting their own constitutions, may depart from Supreme Court doctrines. Readings include not only court cases, but presidential statements and congressional debates.
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