Friday, January 26, 2007

For Court-Packing Anniversary: FDR Cartoons

With the 70th anniversary coming up of Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposing his court-packing plan on Feb. 6, 1936, Alasdair S. Roberts, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, has posted a great set of political cartoons about the plan on his website. To see them, click here, and use arrows to navigate through. Citations indicating where the cartoons were published appear at the end.

Note: the collection is called "The Dictatorship Plan," and the cartoons tend to be on this theme, which was a prominent critique of the plan, and helps situate court packing politics in the context of world affairs in the late '30s. (For more on that, see David Bixby's outstanding student article in the Yale Law Journal, "The Roosevelt Court, Democratic Ideology, and Minority Rights: Another Look at United States v. Classic," 90 YALE L.J. 741 (1981).) Even though opinion ran against the plan, it was not uniform, and some sensible people supported it (e.g. Wiley Rutledge -- although surely with hopes of a Supreme Court tap). It would be interesting to see cartoons that favored the plan. I'll post cartoons or links if a reader has a useful link or file to send.

Today's post comes w/ thanks to Cliopatria and Volokh Conspiracy, who posted it first.