Chief Justiceship of Charles Evans Hughes, 1930-1941

Chief Justiceship of Charles Evans Hughes, 1930-1941

by William G. Ross
     
 

During the 1930s the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned its longtime function as an arbiter of economic regulation and assumed its modern role as a guardian of personal liberties. William G. Ross analyzes this turbulent period of constitutional transition and the leadership of one of its central participants in The Chief Justiceship of Charles Evans Hughes, 1930-1941See more details below

Overview

During the 1930s the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned its longtime function as an arbiter of economic regulation and assumed its modern role as a guardian of personal liberties. William G. Ross analyzes this turbulent period of constitutional transition and the leadership of one of its central participants in The Chief Justiceship of Charles Evans Hughes, 1930-1941. Tapping into a broad array of primary and secondary sources, Ross explores the complex interaction between the court and the political, economic, and cultural forces that transformed the nation during the Great Depression.

Written with an appreciation for both the legal and historical contexts, this comprehensive volume explores how the Hughes Court removed constitutional impediments to the development of the administrative state by relaxing restrictions previously invoked to nullify federal and state economic regulatory legislation. Ross maps the expansion of safeguards for freedoms of speech, press, and religion and the extension of rights of criminal defendants and racial minorities. Ross holds that the Hughes Court's germinal decisions championing the rights of African Americans helped to lay the legal foundations for the civil rights movement.

Throughout his study Ross emphasizes how Chief Justice Hughes's brilliant administrative abilities and political acumen helped to preserve the Court's power and prestige during a period when the body's rulings were viewed as intensely controversial. Ross concludes that on balance the Hughes Court's decisions were more evolutionary than revolutionary but that the court also reflected the influence of the social changes of the era, especially after the appointmentof justices who espoused the New Deal values of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570036798
Publisher:
University of South Carolina Press
Publication date:
05/28/2007
Series:
Chief Justiceships of the United States
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Davison M. Douglas
"Charles Evans Hughes served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court during one of the most critical periods in the history of the Court and the nation. In this carefully researched book, William G. Ross adds depth and complexity to our understanding of both Hughes and the Court that he led. Ross also provides fresh insight into the question of the extent and nature of the constitutional change of the 1930s that resulted in what Ross appropriately describes as 'the first modern Court.'"--(Davison M. Douglas, Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law and director, Election Law Program, William and Mary School of Law)

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