Wednesday, July 04, 2007

US Supreme Court So Few Have Quickly Changed So Much

See a very nice summary of the US Supreme Court term that has just ended at Maryland Conservatarian at See Monday, July 02, 2007 “A ‘Progressive’ look at today's Supreme Court”

I was chatting with a liberal friend of mine who was very upset at the Supreme’s Court disastrous term, and, of course, blaming Bush. She quoted Justice Stephen G. Breyer as referring to the Court’s work this term as "It is not often so few have quickly changed so much”. [Apparently this was a comment included in a long dissent delivered in the courtroom regarding the cases that struck down using race for school assignment plans in public in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle] By the way the Los Angeles Times headline for the cases was “Justices reject school integration efforts” while the Associated Press headline was “The government must treat citizens as individuals”.

I asked what about in 1937 and Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts and the switch in time that saved nine?

“Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic Party candidate, was elected as president in 1932. Over the next few years Roberts and the other justices who were supporters of the Republican Party, ruled against the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) and ten other New Deal laws.”

Roosevelt Court Packing Plan: “On 2nd February, 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt made a speech attacking the Supreme Court for its actions over New Deal legislation.... Roosevelt announced that he was going to ask Congress to pass a bill enabling the president to expand the Supreme Court by adding one new judge, up to a maximum off six, for every current judge over the age of 70.”

“On 29th March, Roberts announced that he had changed his mind about voting against minimum wage legislation. Hughes also reversed his opinion on the Social Security Act and the National Labour Relations Act (NLRA) and by a 5-4 vote they were now declared to be constitutional.”

Although my friend taught high school history for thirty years, she said she was vague about it and the purported reasoning. Among the many things the New Deal regulated was the amount of crops allowed to be grown and what they sold for, including mandating that food be destroyed during a time of hunger in America. Could the Federal government powers be so expansive to include telling American citizens what they could grow on their own property for their own use? See prior post at
Should Presidents Transform US Supreme Court?
Should Presidents Transform US Supreme Court? – Part II


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