The Supreme Court Issue

September 27, 1924

Report Outline
The Supreme Court Issue
Five to Four Decisions
Proposals to Curb Supreme Court
Power of Supreme Court Over State Legislation
The Courts in Party Platforms

The Supreme Court Issue

A controversy which dates from the adoption of the Constitution is revived in the present campaign by the proposal of Senator LaFollette to curb the power exercised by the Supreme Court over acts of congress and the attacks of Calvin Coolidge and John W. Davis upon that proposal as calculated to bring about fundamental changes in the American from of government.

Since the establishment of the Supreme Court in 1789, approximately fifty acts of Congress have been declared by the Court to conflict, in whole or part, with the provisions of the constitution, Ten of these decisions holding Congressional legislation invalid have been rendered by the Court within the last eight years. Of these ten decisions, five have been rendered by a Court divided five to four, These include the child labor, stock dividend, minimum, wage and New-berry case decisions. The principal basis for the revival of the “judicial usurpation” issue in the present campaign is to be found in these recent decisions and the manner in which they were reached.

Curb Proposed by LaFollette

Senator LaFollette's plan for curbing the power of the Court to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional has not yet been submitted in Congress In legislative form. The clearest statement of it was contained in his speech of June 14, 1922, before the American Federation of Labor convention at Cincinnati.

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Jun. 05, 1939  Supreme Court Decisions, 1938–39
Nov. 17, 1938  Supreme Court Appointments
May 31, 1938  Supreme Court Decisions, 1937–38
Jun. 01, 1937  Supreme Court Decisions, 1936–37
Jun. 01, 1936  Decisions of the Supreme Court, 1935-36
Jun. 05, 1933  Decisions of the Supreme Court, 1932-33
Jun. 04, 1932  Decisions of the Supreme Court, 1931–32
Jun. 06, 1931  Decisions of the Supreme Court, 1930–31
Jun. 09, 1930  Decisions of the Supreme Court, 1929–30
Jun. 10, 1929  Decisions of the Supreme Court, 1928-29
Jun. 09, 1928  Decisions of the Supreme Court 1927–28
Sep. 27, 1924  The Supreme Court Issue
Congress Actions