fdr court packing bill activity

FDR’s Court Packing Plan Activity
Directions: Students are to analyze and evaluate the primary source and image regarding Franklin Roosevelt’s courtpacking plan. Secondly, students are to answer the activities questions listed below.
Additional resources required: A copy of Article III of the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. Supreme Court declared a number of important early New Deal laws unconstitutional.
Frustrated by this, President Roosevelt proposed a plan to add up to six new justices to the
Court. Listed below are some of FDR’s comments to the American people about his plan. In
addition, below is a cartoon expressing the common reaction to FDR’s “court-packing “plan?
Exhibit A:
“[My] plan has two chief purposes: By bringing into the judicial system a steady and
continuing stream of new and younger blood, I hope, first, to make the administration of all
Federal justice speedier and therefore less costly; secondly, to bring to the decision of social
and economic problems younger men who have had personal experience and contact with
modern facts and circumstances under which average men have to live and work. This plan
will save our national Constitution from hardening of the judicial arteries.”
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Exhibit B:
Analyze and evaluate President Roosevelt’s words, study the cartoon, and answer the
following questions.
1. What provisions for the Supreme Court are set by the U.S. Constitution? Read Article III
of the Constitution to find out.
2. How would Roosevelt’s plan change the Supreme Court?
3. What was the reaction to Roosevelt’s plan, as displayed in the political cartoon?
4. Why did the bill cause such a strong reaction?
5. What specific objections did opponents of the plan have?