Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Constitutional War

Author: Marian Cecilia McKenna
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
ISBN: 9780823221547
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Packing the Court

Author: James Macgregor Burns
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101081902
Format: PDF
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From renowned political theorist James MacGregor Burns, an incisive critique of the overreaching power of an ideological Supreme Court For decades, Pulitzer Prize-winner James MacGregor Burns has been one of the great masters of the study of power and leadership in America. In Packing the Court, he turns his eye to the U.S. Supreme Court, an institution that he believes has become more powerful, and more partisan, than the founding fathers ever intended. In a compelling and provocative narrative, Burns reveals how the Supreme Court has served as a reactionary force in American politics at critical moments throughout the nation's history, and concludes with a bold proposal to rein in the court's power.

The Supreme Court Reborn

Author: William E. Leuchtenburg
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198027157
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Supreme Power Franklin Roosevelt vs the Supreme Court

Author: Jeff Shesol
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393079418
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

FDR and Chief Justice Hughes

Author: James F. Simon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416578897
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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By the author of acclaimed books on the bitter clashes between Jefferson and Chief Justice Marshall on the shaping of the nation’s constitutional future, and between Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney over slavery, secession, and the presidential war powers. Roosevelt and Chief Justice Hughes's fight over the New Deal was the most critical struggle between an American president and a chief justice in the twentieth century. The confrontation threatened the New Deal in the middle of the nation’s worst depression. The activist president bombarded the Democratic Congress with a fusillade of legislative remedies that shut down insolvent banks, regulated stocks, imposed industrial codes, rationed agricultural production, and employed a quarter million young men in the Civilian Conservation Corps. But the legislation faced constitutional challenges by a conservative bloc on the Court determined to undercut the president. Chief Justice Hughes often joined the Court’s conservatives to strike down major New Deal legislation. Frustrated, FDR proposed a Court-packing plan. His true purpose was to undermine the ability of the life-tenured Justices to thwart his popular mandate. Hughes proved more than a match for Roosevelt in the ensuing battle. In grudging admiration for Hughes, FDR said that the Chief Justice was the best politician in the country. Despite the defeat of his plan, Roosevelt never lost his confidence and, like Hughes, never ceded leadership. He outmaneuvered isolationist senators, many of whom had opposed his Court-packing plan, to expedite aid to Great Britain as the Allies hovered on the brink of defeat. He then led his country through World War II.

FDR v The Constitution

Author: Burt Solomon
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9780802719577
Format: PDF, Docs
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In the wake of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's landslide re-election of 1936, the popular president-never anything but self-confident-unaccountably overreached. Deeply frustrated by a Supreme Court that had blocked many of his New Deal initiatives, FDR proposed to enlarge it from 9 justices to 15. The now-famous "court packing scheme" divided Roosevelt's own party and inflamed the country at large, and it failed-humiliatingly for FDR-because the president could persuade neither the public nor the Senate of its virtues. And yet, ironically, he could claim ultimate victory, for the Court that emerged from the revolution of 1937-its majority shifted from conservative to liberal-lasted for the next 68 years, until the recent Bush appointments have tilted it back. Historian Burt Solomon, deeply steeped in Washington's lore, skillfully chronicles one of the great set pieces in American history, illuminating the inner workings of the nation's capital as the three branches of our government squared off. The Supreme Court has generated many fascinating and dramatic stories, but none more so than that of the 168 days during which one of our greatest presidents attempted to outmaneuver the Constitution-an action that inevitably calls forth parallels with the present.

Roosevelt s Purge

Author: Susan Dunn
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674058453
Format: PDF, Docs
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Susan Dunn tells the dramatic story of FDR’s unprecedented battle to drive his foes out of his party by intervening in Democratic primaries and backing liberal challengers to conservative incumbents.

The Constitution and the New Deal

Author: G. Edward WHITE
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674008311
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In a powerful new narrative, G. Edward White challenges the reigning understanding of twentieth-century Supreme Court decisions, particularly in the New Deal period. He does this by rejecting such misleading characterizations as "liberal," "conservative," and "reactionary," and by reexamining several key topics in constitutional law. Through a close reading of sources and analysis of the minds and sensibilities of a wide array of justices, including Holmes, Brandeis, Sutherland, Butler, Van Devanter, and McReynolds, White rediscovers the world of early-twentieth-century constitutional law and jurisprudence. He provides a counter-story to that of the triumphalist New Dealers. The deep conflicts over constitutional ideas that took place in the first half of the twentieth century are sensitively recovered, and the morality play of good liberals vs. mossbacks is replaced. This is the only thoroughly researched and fully realized history of the constitutional thought and practice of all the Supreme Court justices during the turbulent period that made America modern.

The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox

Author: John Knox
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226448626
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Recapturing life in Washington, D.C., when it was still a genteel Southern town, this personal memoir was written by law clerk John Knox (1907-1997), private secretary to U.S. Supreme Court Justice James C. McReynolds. 16 halftones.

The Defining Moment

Author: Jonathan Alter
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743246012
Format: PDF, ePub
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An analysis of the four-term president's famous "fear itself" speech evaluates how FDR transformed his office and revitalized American morale throughout the first 100 days of his presidency, in an account that cites the contributions of his family members, advisors, and fellow polio survivors. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.