V.
IS THE HUGHES COURT PACKED?

No one can truly say that our courts have held us back or have ever exhibited a spirit of mere literalness and reaction.

Woodrow Wilson

ONE of the most dangerous aspects of the controversy is the attempt to discredit the Supreme Court in the public mind. Confidence in the impartial administration of justice by the courts is the tap root of democracy. To disturb it is to tamper with the stability of our whole political system. Yet advocates of the President's remodeling device have been willing to take that risk. Realizing that their demand for a change calls for proof that the present Court has run amuck, they have centered their attack more and more directly upon the integrity of that institution.

This strategy dates back to President Roosevelt's scornful reference to "horse and buggy days" after the N.R.A. had been invalidated. More recently, however, it has given rise to the charge that the Supreme Court over which Chief Justice Hughes presides is packed, and to the claim that the President is merely seeking to unpack it. That argument should be carefully examined.

What is meant by a packed Court? The term

-4o-

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