Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional Revolution / Edition 1

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Overview

This book challenges the prevailing account of the Supreme Court of the New Deal era, which holds that in the spring of 1937 the Court suddenly abandoned jurisprudential positions it had staked out in such areas as substantive due process and commerce clause doctrine. In the conventional view, the impetus for such a dramatic reversal was provided by external political pressures manifested in FDR's landslide victory in the 1936 election, and by the subsequent Court-packing crisis. Author Barry Cushman, by contrast, discounts the role that political pressure played in securing this "constitutional revolution." Instead, he reorients study of the New Deal Court by focusing attention on the internal dynamics of doctrinal development and the role of New Dealers in seizing opportunities presented by doctrinal change.

Recasting this central story in American constitutional development as a chapter in the history of ideas rather than simply an episode in the history of politics, Cushman offers a thoroughly researched and carefully argued study that recharacterizes the mechanics by which laissez-faire constitutionalism unraveled and finally collapsed during FDR's reign. Identifying previously unseen connections between several different lines of doctrine, Rethinking the New Deal Court charts the manner in which Nebbia v. New York's abandonment of the distinction between public and private enterprise hastened the demise of the doctrinal structure in which that distinction had played a central role. As intelligent as it is revisionist, this volume will greatly interest students of legal history, constitutional law, and political science.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195120431
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Virginia
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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Pt. I Rethinking the New Deal Court 9
1 Roosevelt's Shadow 11
2 Judging the Image of New Deal Court Judging 33
Pt. II A New Trial for Justice Roberts 45
3 The Public/Private Distinction and the Minimum Wage 47
4 From Adkins to Nebbia 66
5 The Minimum Wage Cases Revisited 84
Pt. III The Trail of the Yellow Dog 107
6 The Liberal Dilemma 109
7 Associationalism Ascendant 119
8 Doctrinal Synergies 131
Pt. IV The Levee Breaks 139
9 A Stream of Legal Consciousness 141
10 Catching the Current 156
11 The Persistence of Memory 177
12 The Struggle with Judicial Supremacy 208
Notes 227
Index 309
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