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ERIC Number: ED466421
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun-21
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Constitutional Issues: Separation of Powers. Teaching with Documents.
National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
The United States subscribes to the original premise of the framers of the Constitution that the way to safeguard against tyranny is to separate the powers of government among three branches so that each branch checks the other two. At no time in the 20th century was the devotion to that principle more vigorously evoked than in 1937, when President Franklin Roosevelt introduced a plan to increase the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. The conflict set off by his plan is more understandable when viewed in the historical context of pro- and anti-New Deal politics. Roosevelt's plan for judicial reform came to be known as his attempt to pack the Supreme Court and extend his powers. Republicans were expected to vote against it, but when the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Hatton Sumners (D-Texas), announced his opposition, the plan's demise was sealed. This lesson plan provides a historical overview of Franklin Roosevelt's plan; identifies the correlations for the National History Standards and National Civics and Government Standards; and suggests diverse activities for classroom implementation, including vocabulary review, reading for the main idea, and persuasion techniques. The study document is a statement by Frank Gannett of Gannett Newspapers, sent to the Office of the Solicitor in the Justice Department, which expresses concern that the real issue is not judicial reform but the continued expansion of executive power. Contains written document analysis and photo analysis worksheets. (BT)
National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Tel: 866-272-6272 (Toll Free); Fax: 301-837-0483; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution