Election 1944: Bricker raps court policy of Roosevelt (10-14-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 15, 1944)


Bricker raps court policy of Roosevelt

U.S. ‘taken for ride,’ Ohioan declares

San Francisco, California (UP) –
Ohio Governor John W. Bricker – lawyer – said tonight the United States was being “taken for a ride” by President Roosevelt’s court-packing which thrust “bedlam and confusion” upon every court in the land.

The fresh young blood Mr. Roosevelt promised the Supreme Court in 1937, he said, turned out to be nothing but “New Deal plasma.”

The sole reason for the present court situation, the Ohioan said, was the smashing of the constitutional barrier to remaking the U.S. government “similar to state socialism.”

Court appointees cited

The Republican vice-presidential candidate hammered out one of the harshest and most detailed criticisms of the American court system yet addressed to the nation.

The former Ohio Attorney General pointed out that Mr. Roosevelt appointed 165 of the 275 judges on the Supreme Court, Circuit Court of Appeals, and the District Courts. Only two of the appointees were Republicans, he said, while a “large number” were “active New Dealers,” some of whom had previously been “repudiated at the polls.” These appointees, he charged, “inevitably clothes their decisions with their personal philosophies” and “turned the courts into conclaves of “New Deal theology.”

New Deal plasma

The President failed in his 1937 effort to attain “court-packing by legislation.” Governor Bricker asserted but “succeeded in the spirit of the attempt.”

He said:

Clearly, Mr. Roosevelt has successfully “packed” our federal judiciary from top to bottom. The fresh young blood he promised to put into the aging veins of the Supreme Court in his crusading days of 1937 has proved to be the plasma of the New Deal.

American voices ‘stifled’

The President’s court-packing, Governor Bricker summarized, has:

  • Disfranchised judicially and stifled the voices of the 22 million Americans who voted Republican in 1940.
  • Discolored the Supreme Court rulings with New Deal ideologies.
  • Brought Supreme Court approval of usurpation of legislative powers by the executive.
  • Created bedlam and confusion in the adjudication of litigation in every court in the land.

He said:

A vote for the Republican ticket is a vote to restore America to a government of delegated authority. It is a vote against one-man government.

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