FDR proposes ‘court-packing’ scheme, Feb. 5, 1937
On Feb. 5, 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt unveiled a plan to expand the U.S. Supreme Court, increasing its size beyond nine justices. A Feb. 6, 1937, Associated Press article in The Abilene Morning News of Abilene, Texas, captured Congressional reaction to the idea.
“A history-making proposal by President Roosevelt to inject ‘new blood’ into a Supreme Court hostile to many New Deal acts went to a surprised Congress today.
“It proposed to raise the court’s membership to 15 if necessary.
“It produced a sensation almost beyond comparison. Congress split into warring camps, with many New Dealers rejoicing and their foes crying ‘dictator!’ ”
Read more about the court-packing plan
On Feb. 20, 1937, The Independent of Helena, Mont., published articles on state legislative responses and a Senate debate about the idea. Wheeler fears dictatorship
A William Bruckart column in the April 1, 1937, Blockton News of Blockton, Iowa, noted growing opposition to FDR’s proposal. Washington Digest