Political Constraints on Supreme Court Reform

19 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2005

Date Written: October 2005


This essay describes and explains the political constraints that limit structural reform of the Supreme Court, using the failure of Roosevelt's 1937 court-packing plan as a running example. The thesis is that movements for structural reform of the Court have a self-negating tendency. The very conditions that produce demand for structural reform of the Court also tend to produce counterforces that block reform.

Keywords: Supreme Court, reform, court-packing, Roosevelt, judicial appointments, politics

Suggested Citation

Vermeule, Adrian, Political Constraints on Supreme Court Reform (October 2005). U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 108, U Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 262, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=836864 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.836864

Adrian Vermeule (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1525 Massachusetts
Griswold 500
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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