FDR and the Court-Packing Plan 1937

FDR and the Court-Packing Plan 1937
The official portrait of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1947. | FDR and the Court-Packing Plan 1937

FDR and the Court-Packing Plan 1937

President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces a plan to enlarge the Supreme Court to as many as 15 judges on February 5, 1937, ostensibly to make it more efficient. Critics quickly accused Roosevelt of attempting to “stuff” the Supreme Court in order to neutralize anti-New Deal justices.

Several significant sections of New Deal legislation had been struck down by the supreme court in the preceding two years on the grounds that they ceded an unconstitutional amount of power to the executive branch and the federal government. With his overwhelming reelection in 1936, President Roosevelt proposed in February 1937 to grant full salary retirement for all members of the Supreme Court over the age of 70.

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