Fueling a Boom
Scarcely had the words of Roosevelt's State of the Union address ceased to reverberate through the press when the New Deal suffered yet another blow from the Supreme Court. On January 5, 1936, newspapers carried the results of a Gallup poll that found 59 percent of Americans opposed to the AAA. 1 The following day the same newspapers carried news of the AAA's demise. The Supreme Court had found it unconstitutional by a 6-3 vote. At a meeting with Roosevelt and others concerned with the matter soon after the decision, Attorney General Homer Cummings found Agriculture Secretary Henry Wallace "inclined to believe that his prediction of more than a year ago would be justified; namely, that prices would be maintained for quite a long period." The attorney general found this presenting "some interesting political consequences. If prices should be maintained, it would probably be charged that the A.A.A. had nothing to do with the creation thereof." 2 Would the AAA now be shown to have been as useless, or even harmful, to recovery as the NRA had been demonstrated to be?
The AAA decision was greeted almost as happily as that invalidating the NRA. Business Week found the "whole New Deal house of laws" shaken and trembling now that another of its main "pillars" had been "blown to pieces by the Supreme Court," and with others sure to fall. 3 The Economist saw the blow to the AAA signifying "Death to the New Deal," and wrote: "Mr. Roosevelt is obviously in a position of the most excruciating embarrassment. Nothing in America could be more damaging to a President that the belief that he had