FDR’s Court-Packing Plan

U.S. History Tutorial

FDR's Court-Packing Plan


During FDR’s first term, the Supreme Court had ruled certain aspects of the New Deal to be unconstitutional like the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 as well as 1935 and the National Industrial Recovery Act. After FDR’s landslide victory in the 1936 election, he proposed legislation to address the Supreme Court’s decision on the New Deal of its constitutional limits.

Sample Problem

What is Franklin D. Roosevelt’s court-packing plan?


He proposed this legislation to increase the number of justices sitting on the Supreme Court from 9 to at most 15. He would appoint at most six justices to every current Supreme Court Justice, who was at least 70-and-a-half years old, that favored the New Deal to have an edge over the conservative Supreme Court and to stop the unconstitutionality of his New Deal programs. This legislation was known as the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937.

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