Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional Revolution by Barry Cushman

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

byBarry Cushman

Paperback | January 1, 1998

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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-faireconstitutionalism 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 privateenterprise 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.

About The Author

Barry Cushman is at Saint Louis University.

Details & Specs

Title:Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional RevolutionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 6.1 × 9.02 × 0.79 inPublished:January 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195120434

ISBN - 13:9780195120431

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPART I: Rethinking the New Deal Court1. Roosevelt's Shadow2. Judging the Image of New Deal Court JudgingPART II: A New Trial for Justice Roberts3. The Public/Private Distinction and the Minimum Wage Issue4. From Adkins to Nebbia5. The Minimum Wage Cases RevisitedPART III: The Trail of the Yellow Dog6. The Liberal Dilemma7. Associationalism Ascendant8. Doctrinal SynergiesPART IV: The Levee Breaks9. A Stream of Legal Consciousness10. Catching the Current11. The Persistence of Memory12. The Struggle with Judicial Supremacy

Editorial Reviews

"Rejects the standard interpretation of the New Deal as a revolution in constitutional law necessitated by conservative judicial opposition to modern liberalism...Cushman bases his account on case fact situations, the arguments of counsel, the opinions of judges, and privatecorrespondence...Eliminating a standard explanation of it, he raises the question of what Roosevelt administration was really trying to do, constitutionally speaking." The Journal of Southwestern History