The Causes Behind the Introduction and Defeat of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Judicial Reform Bill
Sloan, Elizabeth (Smith, Elizabeth Sloan)
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In order to understand the judicial reform bill introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, one must examine Roosevelt as an individual and politician and then look at the courts, primarily the Supreme Court, and the legal status of the, New Deal legislation. They are all main elements in the creation of the bill. The Supreme Court's records are easily accessible, but President Roosevelt's private papers largely remain unpublished and are housed in,the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York. Roosevelt as a politician is inseparable from Roosevelt the man and one is forced to rely on the accounts of those who knew him to learn of his personality. The judicial reform plan and the fight over it were not simple issues. They showed something of the interrelationships of the three governmental branches and their expectations concerning the other branches. As in any complicated issue; there was no clearly right or wrong side and no definite victor in the fight over the bill. Ideologies and real power were at stake and both were.affected because of the plan. Precedents are extremely important in history. If one views the present as a direct result of the past, the establishment of, or failure to establish, a course of direction is as important to people today as it was to the people living during the occurrence. The United States Supreme Court is a very powerful body today, as in the 1930's, and attempts to change it should be carefully noted.
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