FRQ Practice - Concept Application Question
Directions: Read the question and write a 3-sentence response to each question below.
Chief Justice Hughes’ letter was written as Congress considered the “court-packing”
“Everyone who has worked in a group knows the necessity of limiting the size
to obtain efficiency. And this is peculiarly true of a judicial body. It is
too much to say that the Supreme Court could not do its work if two
more members were added, but I think that the consensus of competent
the opinion is that it is now large enough . . . There would be more judges to
hear, more judges to confer, more judges to discuss, more judges to be
convinced and to decide.”
—Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, letter to Senate
Judiciary Committee, 1937
After reading the scenario above, respond to A, B, and C below:
(A) Describe the proposed legislation by President Franklin Roosevelt
that prompted the author’s response.
(B) In the context of this scenario, describe how judicial independence
led to the proposed legislation in part A,
(C) Explain how the proposed legislation may have altered U.S. policy.
A. The proposed legislation by President Franklin Roosevelt
that prompted the author’s response entail; bill being referred to as the Roosevelt court-plan. After winning a re-election victory in 1936, he came up with proposals of re-organizing the federal judiciary. Roosevelt planned to add a new justice every time a justice failed to retire after reaching 70.
B. Judicial independence led to the proposed legislation in part A because; In 1933 workers and businessmen marched in spectacular parades to demonstrate their support for the National Recovery Administration (NRA). In addition to that, Roosevelt’s agency for industrial mobilization, symbolized by its emblem, the blue eagle. At the time of his reelection, it was the most elderly court in the nation’s history, averaging 71 years.
C. The proposed legislation may have altered U.S. policy through; protest meetings, bar association resolutions and thousands upon thousands of letters to editors. Besides, Roosevelt’s foes accused him of mimicking Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin by seeking to concentrate power in the hands of one man. If Roosevelt won, opponents warned, he would destroy the independence of the judiciary and create an evil precedent for successors who wished to “pack” the court.
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