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Showing posts from January, 2011

Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices

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Noah Feldman, Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices. New York: Twelve, 2010. Hardcover. 433 pages. $30.

When FDR took office in 1933, the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression.Unemployment peaked that year at an astonishing 25%, but the financial markets which had been at the epicenter of the crisis were still unreformed and unregulated.FDR took office with an ambitious plan to repair the American economy that became known as the first New Deal, but as he attempted to implement his plans through sweeping legislation like the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), he was consistently blocked by a conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court.
The Court in 1933 was dominated by justices who consistently interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment, in particular, as guaranteeing “liberty of contract,” a concept which the Court used to protect the interests of big business.The Court consistently found unconstitutional Progre…