VIDEO: Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt and the Supreme Court

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The state can and must create jobs when the private sector is corrupted, fears for the future and speculates on foreign currencies.

Jeff Shesol is the author of “Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt and the Supreme Court.”

Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court

About the Program

Jeff Shesol recalls Franklin Roosevelt's confrontation with the U.S. Supreme Court who objected to vital elements of his New Deal legislation. In 1937 the President announced a plan to expand the court to ensure that liberal justices would outnumber conservatives. Mr. Shesol reports that President Roosevelt's plan failed but helped push through New Deal legislation while it created a fissure in the Democratic party that the author maintains led to future Republican ascendance. Jeff Shesol discusses his book with Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer at The New Yorker and senior legal analyst at CNN at the New York Historical Society in New York City.

About the Author

Jeff Shesol

Jeff Shesol is the author of Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud That Defined a Decade. He is the former deputy chief speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and is the founding partner of West Wing Writers, a strategic communications firm.

to watch the BookTV presentation aired May 1, 2010, click on


Video: FDR”s inauguration speech on March 4, 1933:

William O Douglas in Wikipedia: “Trees have Standing”:

VIDEO: BookTV Discussion of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”:


"We care more about our green lawns than about songbirds. Pesticides are persistent and can't be simply repressed. Birds and fish have injested pollutants. Humility and arrogance are part of our collective life story. We are not in control of nature and have to think of the whole of things, the interlocking nature of life.."

demandside's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


An interesting point in the FDR video I'd never thought about. The number of members on the Supreme Court isn't set by the's set by Congress. The number of justices on the court has been changed from time to time.

It seems to me the corporate lackey's currently sitting on the court could simply be overwhelmed by increasing the size of the court and appointing justices willing to overturn the handing over of the U.S. political system to corporations.

We aren't stuck with their decisions until they are in their 90's and slip into a grave.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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