Josiah M. Daniel III, a Visiting Scholar in the Department of History of the University of Texas at Austin and a Retired Partner in Residence in the Dallas office of Vinson & Elkins, LLP, has published “What I Said Was ‘Here Is Where I Cash In’”: the Instrumental Role of Congressman Hatton Sumners in the Resolution of the 1937 Court-Packing Crisis, in the UIC John Marshall Law Review 54 (2021): 379-428. From the introduction:
Later in the year, after Roosevelt had lost [the battle over the Court-packing plan], journalists Joseph Alsop and Turner Catledge published in the September 18th Saturday Evening Post an article titled “The 168 Days: The Story Behind the Story of the Supreme Court Fight,” in which, under a subheading of “No. 1 Opposition Man,” they reported that, immediately after the announcement, Vice President John Nance Garner, House Majority Leader Sam Rayburn, and [Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Hatton W.] Sumners returned in a taxi to the Capitol together:
Hatton Sumners, 1938 (LC)After they had left the White House, after they had turned down past the Treasury, Hatton Sumners spoke to the men with him. “Boys,” he said, “here’s where I cash in my chips.”
It was the first announcement of opposition to the plan . . . .
The journalists slightly misquoted Sumners’s pithy remark, and historians and legal scholars have almost uniformly perpetuated the mistake, countless times, to the present day. They have, moreover, misunderstood it.