THE VERDICT OF HISTORY
... This proposal to pack the Supreme Court is without precedence in American jurisprudence and ... we must go back for a corresponding scheme to the infamous processes of the British Star Chamber.
— Senator Carter Glass
THE United States has reached a point in its evolution where the judgment of history is certain to be invoked in the decision of major political issues. Our traditions are not ancient. Yet we are celebrating this year the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Constitution. During the last century and a half some effective precedents have been established, and the idea of continuity for our political institutions has taken firm root.
In view of this growing consciousness of our past, any statesman must expect a drastic proposal or a revolutionary method to be measured against the national experience. Before taking a step off the beaten path people wish to know whether it has been done before, and, if so, with what results. President Roosevelt was fully cognizant of that attitude when he asked Congress for the privilege of remaking the Supreme Court. That is why he prefaced his message with a recital of the various