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Constitutional Law

Political Science

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

2012

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The Switch In Time That Saved Nine: A Study Of Justice Owen Roberts's Vote In West Coast Hotel Co. V. Parrish, Brian T. Goldman Jan 2012

The Switch In Time That Saved Nine: A Study Of Justice Owen Roberts's Vote In West Coast Hotel Co. V. Parrish, Brian T. Goldman

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

During President Roosevelt's first term in office (1932-1936) the Supreme Court ruled several landmark New Deal measures unconstitutional; a handful of these decisions were by 5-4 margins. It all changed in 1937, when swing Justice Owen Roberts voted to affirm a minimum wage statute in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish; a year earlier he had voted against minimum wage legislation in a similar case.

This "switch in time that saved nine" has no established consensus that explains its occurrence. Some have posited that President Roosevelt's "court packing" legislation forced Roberts's hand, while other have argued that ...