FDR v. the Constitution: The Court-Packing Fight and the Triumph of Democracy

Burt Solomon, Author . Walker $26 (337p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1589-0

During his first term as president, FDR became frustrated by a Supreme Court with a majority of Republican appointees that routinely ruled unconstitutional various New Deal initiatives in narrow 5 to 4 votes. Most particularly, the Court crippled the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933—the very heart of FDR's prescription for economic recovery. As Solomon (The Washington Century: Three Families and the Shaping of the Nation's Capital ) shows in this compelling and painstakingly researched study, after being re-elected by a large plurality in 1936, FDR attempted to revive a long-dead proposal, arguing that all Supreme Court justices 70 years or older either retire or the president be allowed to appoint a tandem judge to serve side-by-side with the older justice. This formula would have allowed FDR to shift the Court's balance of power. Solomon eloquently reveals how the proposal—hotly debated in Congress and characterized as a direct challenge to the fundamental principles of the Founders—eventually resulted in a stunning and humiliating defeat for FDR, sharply dividing members of his own party in the process. Photos. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 12/01/2008
Show other formats
Paperback - 337 pages - 978-0-8027-1031-4
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-8027-1957-7
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.