“Approving Legislation for the People, Preserving Liberties—Almost Rewriting Laws”

in Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780226500867
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226561127 | DOI:
“Approving Legislation for the People, Preserving Liberties—Almost Rewriting Laws”

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This chapter discusses the construction of a reformulated federal judiciary by examining the creation of the Roosevelt Supreme Court, the second of the administration's three-pillared judicial policy. It is shown that Roosevelt's nominees were generally committed to rights-centered liberalism and legal realism. The politics surrounding each of Roosevelt's nine appointments to the Court is also examined. The connection between Roosevelt's attempt to purge (mostly southern) conservatives in the 1938 Democratic Party primaries and his choices for the Court are explored. The manner in which southern filibusters against civil rights legislation, especially the NAACP-supported antilynching bill, contributed to Roosevelt administration efforts to advance the federal protection of rights in the courts is also considered.

Keywords: federal judiciary; Roosevelt Supreme Court; judicial policy; rights-centered liberalism; legal realism; Roosevelt

Chapter.  20451 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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