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FDR and Chief Justice Hughes: The President,…
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FDR and Chief Justice Hughes: The President, the Supreme Court, and the…

by James F. Simon

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This dual biography illustrates a crucial moment in the history of the Supreme Court and the Presidency - FDR's 1937 confrontation over the New Deal and his attempt to 'pack' the court with newer, more sympathetic justices.

In the early 1930s, FDR had a supermajority in the Senate, with over 70 seats. FDR famous launched an ambitious New Deal, involving the National Recovery Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, and the Public Works Association. Yet there remained considerable controversy over the implementation of these laws, particularly if they overstepped federal power, Commerce Clause notwithstanding.

Parts of the NIRA were declared unconstitutional (Title I, on union organizing), and a confrontation ensued. The AAA was also struck down, as regulation of agriculture was a state power.

With recent events transpiring between these two branches of government, the benefits of this sort of book are very obvious, and it delivers very well. The complex and often baffling conflicts between the branches of government are shown only too well today, and this very clear history will generate new interest in the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Hughes. ( )
1 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Documents the political clashes between FDR and the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Hughes regarding the New Deal, examining the president's proposed legislative remedies and the constitutional challenges posed by conservatives on the Court.

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