The Supreme Court and the New Deal

Archive Report

Supreme Court Tests of New Deal's Constitutionality

Dissenting from the judgment of the majority in the Gold Clause cases, Justice McReynolds declared in a remarkable opinion delivered from the bench of the Supreme Court, February 18: “The Constitution as we have known it is gone.” Less than 15 weeks later, President Roosevelt declared, at his historic press conference of May 31, that the Supreme Court, in its literal application of the Constitution in the Schechter case, had gone back to the “horse and buggy” days of 1789.

The handing down of the unanimous opinion in the Schechter case, which held the National Industrial Recovery Act to be unconstitutional, came as the climax to a term of the Supreme Court in which the constitutionality of only one ...

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