A Moment in the Times: Law Professors and the Court-Packing Plan
Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 52, Nos. 1 & 2, p. 151, 2002
16 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2010
Date Written: January 1, 2002
When Franklin Roosevelt unveiled his "court-packing" plan, law professors found themselves in an unfamiliar position. For perhaps the first time ever, their professional opinions were being sought by journalists and politicians, for consumption by the general public. In faculty meetings and private correspondence, law professors considered the propriety of taking a stand for or against the President's plan. Ultimately, some professors chose to go public with their support (or opposition); others considered such commentary as a form of advocacy that was incompatible with their job descriptions. This article relates and examines the debate among law professors over both the court-packing proposal and their proper role, if any, in the public sphere.
Keywords: court-packing plan, law professors, law schools, New Deal
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