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Tag: supreme courtamerican history

New Deal faces old court

FDR's Fireside Chat on the reorganization of the Judiciary, Page 6

FDR's Fireside Chat on the reorganization of the Judiciary, Page 6

When the sweeping laws of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal were enacted, it did not take long for the laws to get challenged in the courts. From Social Security to a spate of other laws meant to revamp an economy deep within the Great Depression, the New Deal was not an easily won victory for Progressives, and sometimes not a victory at all.

On what has come to be called “Black Monday”–May 25, 1935–the Supreme Court unanimously ruled  on two cases that each struck down major portions of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first case to be ruled unconstitutional was the Frazier-Lemke Emergency Farm Mortgage Act, part of the New Deal designed to prevent debt-ridden farmers from losing their land. In a second ruling, the National Industrial Recovery Act, a major cornerstone of the New Deal, was struck down by a vote in the courts, ruling that the Legislative had given too much unchecked power to the Executive, and violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Roosevelt was having a bad day, but would not go down without a fight.

Roosevelt introduced the Judiciary Reorganization Bill in his first Fireside Chat following his reelection in 1936.  More New Deal laws had been declared in the interim, and by 1937, Roosevelt was ready to hit back. … [ Read all ]