Roosevelt attempts ‘pack’ Supreme Court (137 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Lucas Paul Richert (University of Saskatchewan)


President Roosevelt asked for 6 additional Supreme Court justices. However, his ‘packing plan’ was defeated. In 1937, Roosevelt believed that the last remaining barrier to his New Deal was the Supreme Court. Indeed, the Court, comprised of pre-Roosevelt appointees, was not entirely supportive of Roosevelt’s New Deal reform measures. To prevent further backsliding, Roosevelt proposed to reorganize the Supreme Court; his plan would have enabled him to add a new justice for every sitting justice over 70 years of age. The reorganization bill was roundly criticized as a blatant violation of the separation of powers and the rule of law. Roosevelt’s bill ultimately proved unsuccessful in Congress. It was voted down. But, in a larger …

Richert, Lucas Paul. "Roosevelt attempts ‘pack’ Supreme Court". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2008
[, accessed 24 October 2016.]