Supreme Court Decisions, 1936–37

June 1, 1937

Report Outline
New Deal Victories in the Supreme Court
Decisions Upholding Social Security Act
Labor Relations Under Commerce Clause
New Deal Laws Upheld in Other Cases
Leading Cases Involving State Laws
Special Focus

New Deal Victories in the Supreme Court

The Program of the Roosevelt administration passed judicial scrutiny in all cases brought before the United States Supreme Court at its 1936–37 term. The term came to a close June 1 without a single adverse decision in any New Deal case.

With the public interest in constitutional cases heightened by controversy over the President's plan for reorganization of the judicial branch, the Supreme Court upheld such major New Deal enactments as the Social Security Act, the Wagner Labor Relations Act, the 1934 collective-bargaining amendment to the Railway Labor Act, the new Frazier-Lemke farm mortgage moratorium act, and the Silver Purchase Act. It sustained abrogation of the gold clause, as applied to a lease, and denial of refunds of taxes paid under the Agricultural Adjustment Act, prior to invalidation of that act, in the absence of proof that the taxpayer had borne the burden of the tax.

In other cases which did not involve social and economic objectives of the New Deal to the same extent, the Court upheld the Ashurst-Sumners Act, the National Firearms Act, the Philippine oil processing tax, the Chaco arms embargo proclamation of the President, postponement of delivery of enemy property seized during the World War, regulation of shipping rates, the corporate reorganization amendment to the Bankruptcy Act, and the assignment to the United States by the Soviet government of bank deposits confiscated in this country.

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