Roosevelt's Court Packing

The Great Depression 3 D's Activity


  • The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, or Court Packing was an attempt by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 5, 1937 that ended up being unsuccessful. President Roosevelt wanted to increase the size of the Supreme Court and add more justices that he hoped would help change the opinions amongst the Court.


Cause: President Roosevelt had an idea known as The New Deal, he believed this would help problems from The Great Depression. To some, The New Deal was referred to as the 3 R's, (Relief, Recovery, and Reform) which some people believed would help some of the problems, but the Supreme Government believed Roosevelt was trying to put the state's government's problems, on the Federal government. The Supreme Court believed The New Deal was unconstitutional, and went against the power given to states by the constitution. So the President called for what is known as The Court Packing.


  • President Roosevelt wanted to appoint a new justice for every member in the court that was over 70 years, and 6 months old.
  • Three delegates from Texas took part in the Court Packing proposal. The three delegates were Vice President John Nance Garner, Senator Thomas Connally, and Representative Hatton Sumners. All three disagreed with The New Deal.

Significance: President Roosevelt's Court Packing Plan left behind a negative legacy for most people. Roosevelt was, and still accused of misusing his presidential powers to try and weaken our constitutional system.