Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weekend Roundup

  • Over at Concurring Opinions, Gerard Magliocca has posted a link to a recording of FDR's Constitution Day address in 1937.  Magliocca and my Georgetown Law colleague Marty Lederman, who provided me with this link to Felix Frankfurter and Thomas Corcoran's draft and this link to the final text, were struck by what Marty calls FDR's "swagger, disdain and passion," in what is, in effect, "a victory lap," notwithstanding the defeat of the Court-packing plan.  he observes that FDR "elicits laughter early in the speech by mentioning as an aside that the Constitution not only doesn't mention the power of judicial review--it doesn't speak to the number of Justices, either."  Alluding to West Coast Hotel, FDR jibed, "For twenty years the Odd Man on the Supreme Court refused to admit that State minimum wage laws for women were constitutional. A few months ago, after my message to the Congress on the rejuvenation of the Judiciary, the Odd Man admitted that the Court had been wrong—for all those twenty years—and overruled himself."  All this is true enough, but especially in light of Ira Katznelson's argument in Fear Itself (not to mention Alonzo Hamby's in For the Survival of Democracy), Roosevelt's opening observations about the spread of dictatorships ought not be overlooked.
  • Check out the (for me, at least) arresting photograph of the "authors of the history of the Supreme Court of the United States meet in the Library of Congress, June 17-19, 1957": Charles Fairman, Paul A. Freund, Carl B. Swisher, Phil C. Neal, Alexander M. Bickel, and Julius Goebel, Jr."  [An earlier version of this post had a defective link; you may search for the photograph here.] It is from Harvard's on-line collection of legal portraits.  How about a restaging with more recent contributors to the Holmes Devise?  With ASLH presidents?  DRE
  • The Reports of the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress (including the fifth and latest) are here.  Hat tip: H-Law
  • A few weeks ago, we noted that on March 14, 2013, Gordon Wood would be lecturing at Ohio Northern University on "The Revolutionary Origins of the Civil War."  The lecture and the conferral of an honorary degree on Professor Wood are recorded here.
The Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History Bloggers.

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