The Place of Economic Crisis in American Constitutional Law: The Great Depression As a Case Study
Forthcoming, Liberal Constitutions in Financial Crises, Tom Ginsburg, Mark Rosen, & Georg Vanberg, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2019
71 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2018 Last revised: 19 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 21, 2018
This chapter considers the role that conditions of economic crisis might have played in cases involving judicial review of economic regulation decided by the Supreme Court of the United States between March of 1932 and June of 1937. Part I conducts a general examination of the possibility that contemporary economic conditions may have operated as an exogenous variable inducing the justices to uphold challenged regulations. Part II explores the extent to which underlying economic conditions might have operated as an endogenous variable that was relevant to analysis of whether particular regulatory measures could be supported by existing constitutional doctrine. An Appendix plots the timeline of cases involving constitutional challenges to ameliorative legislation against a variety of contemporary economic indicators.
Keywords: Hughes Court, Great Depression, New Deal, Constitutional Law, Judicial Review
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