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The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of was a legislative initiative proposed by U.S. The bill came to be known as Roosevelt's "court-packing plan". .. The choice of date on which to launch the plan was largely determined by other. At the time of Operation Yahoo in April-May , 61 Mech was about 1 . It was carried out by more than of the fighters of PLAN, the armed wing of SWAPO. .. up — the enemy picture neatly marked and kept up to date hour-by- hour. .. political commissar High Court as well as engineering commander Kandove. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's chief executive, lost her bonus and that the two Russian intelligence agents they say directed the scheme, Cancer Pushes New York's 'First Girlfriend,' Sandra Lee, Onto Political Stage which was filed under seal in Federal District Court in San Francisco on Feb.
For that matter, the sub-units or our unit as a whole trained and did its military exercises anywhere. This was life with 61 Mech at its best, exciting times, living on the edge.
Where did the operational priorities of 61 Mech lay, to the north with Sector 10, or the south with Sector 30? The rainy season in the operational area normally lasted from April to December. This provided the insurgents with sufficient drinking water to undertake deep infiltrations to the south.
This observable fact furthermore brought flash rains to wash away their tracks; denser foliage to move under cover; inundations to impede the vehicular movement of security forces for cross-tracking and follow-ups and; showers to obscure the view of scouting aircraft. In the meantime April was crawling closer. The terrorist threat towards the south was building up fatefully towards 14 April Who was responsible for this insurgent threat from the north? Sector 10 covered the western part and encapsulated Ovamboland.
Sector 20 to the east was responsible for the Okavango Province. As it were, Sector 10 was already operating inside southern Angola across Ovamboland, within the Area-in-Dispute. As mentioned before, the man accountable and responsible to hold the enemies from entering the portals of Tsumeb, Otavi and Grootfontein was Colonel J. Louw, the commander of Sector 30 situated at Otjiwarongo.
At the beg and call that is and not to falter when crises reared its ugly head to the north, south, east or west of us. What loomed was ominous. The unfolding situation bode evil to the innocent community residing unawares to the south of Omuthiya and the Red Line. Was anyone responsible out there noticing the war clouds rising higher than ever before?
Or seeing the impending fire storm approaching more severe than ever? Apparently not, as nothing wise came forth that 61 Mech or the community could discern from the more informed to the north and south of us.
In the meantime seven large insurgent groups were already moving stealthily southwards on their voyage of death from SWAPO lairs deep inside southern Angola. The signs were there for all too see, ironically so. Operation Super which had been successfully completed by 32 Battalion a month ago, was a crystal clear indicator.
This should have been a clear indication that the intensity and scope of deep infiltrations to the south were about to change face from the past. This was their jump-off point for a well planned infiltration southwards through Kaokoland. The planned attack was aborted due to adverse weather conditions and was only carried through the next day. Thirty soldiers were deployed as stopper groups, while the main force of 45 launched the attack on the enemy base.
Although the terrorists greatly outnumbered the soldiers, they were surprised and overwhelmed — altogether two hundred and twenty one SWAPO insurgents were killed with only one managing to escape. Three members of 32 Battalion were killed in action and two sustained slight wounds. A large number of prisoners were captured and significant quantities of food, weapons and logistical equipment taken.
The mission was crowned with exceptional success. Forewarned is forearmed, the prompt for pre-emption and pro-active measures. Did this happen, yes or no? We were more or less minding our own business. Oh yes, we were planning, preparing, training and exercising fervently as usual. This was operation normal for 61 Mech.
Our current predicament was that the particulars of the impending enemy April-May invasion threat remained alluding. We could literally do nothing about the situation, apart from guessing, assessing, planning, preparing and waiting at the ready.
At 61 Mech we instinctively knew that the insurgents of Volcano were coming south — call it logic, gut feeling, womanly intuition, whatever. When, where, how, how many? Where they were now…? Time and locale by map grid reference please…! Hey, is anybody interested in telling 61 Mech what the hell is happening out there? In our beloved corrugated iron operations centre at Omuthiya the maps were up — the enemy picture neatly marked and kept up to date hour-by-hour.
The radios were humming as our intelligence and operations personnel monitored the radio nets of Sectors 10 at Oshakati, 20 at Rundu and 30 at Otjiwarongo. The members of the HQ staff of 61 Mech were equally interested in the weather forecasts and similarly watched out for rain clouds. They knew the game: Their supporting staffs as well.
They were old hand at infiltrations. We knew our enemy. We had made a list of battle indications we could use as yardsticks to monitor any omen coming from the vast bush lands to north of Omuthiya. There were, however, four teeny-weenie issues which influenced the way 61 Mech went about its progressive day-to-day operational work.
This especially concerned the impending enemy threat to innocent souls to the south of us, those innocents who lived at nearby farms and towns. Those were the people who were depending on the might of the military machine in the region to safeguard them against stark terrorism. This responsibility 61 Mech had relinquished after Operation Carrot had been successfully completed by 18 April The mandate for this then reverted to Sector 30 whose responsibility it actually was.
The package-deal included handing over the former role 61 Mech had to command the joint task force in times of crises. The reason for this was simply that 61 Mech was being committed more and more for fleeting operations into southern Angola. This had become the nature of the beast. In fairness, this was the true role of 61 Mech. Such operations would in future obviously unfold under command of Sector The real worry was that we were hearing nothing from Sector Yes, there was a general emergency plan in place, which I would explain in more detail below.
The problem was that no particular contingency planning or pro-active measures were being undertaken for the brooding enmity on hand. This really had me worried as the bewitched month of April was creeping closer.
To 61 Mech who knew and understood high readiness, this was not the way, if I may say so myself. As it were, we were already on three hours stand-by for any possible threat, which could explode in our faces at any moment.
Would we be there to support them if the time came? The perception of the community was that 61 Mech was theirs. Fortunately for them, we had always been available in the past for emergencies, more or less at beg and call. They had come to rely, respect and trust 61 Mech. What would their perceptions be, if trouble came and 61 Mech was not there to come to the rescue?
Our sub-units still required extensive mission training and were in the process of acclimatizing and getting used to the operational ways of 61 Mech. They were however well trained, make no mistake about that. The other plus point was that 61 Mech had outstanding soldiers, both permanent force and national servicemen.
It was commanded and managed by a core of permanent force members and national service junior leaders. Those leaders were men of calibre. The previous year, prior to Operation Carrot, 61 Mech had done a comprehensive threat assessment and had compiled a contingency plan for such crises. The said plan was then war-gamed with all possible combat participants for such operations.
This occurred early in March For the season this plan was reassessed and now served as a base-line for our new sub-unit intake. Our HQ and other supporting capabilities were on stand-by and high-readiness as well. This was done in accordance with the aforementioned contingency plan: The two mechanised infantry companies for follow-ups, rapid response, ambushing, cross-tracking, etcetera; the armour squadron for mobile patrols, convoy duties, road-blocks, cross-tracking, cordoning, show of force and so forth; the artillery battery to deploy for farm protection operations, as the tradition was.
My battery commander, Major Chris Roux was a conscientious officer. Roux would be in overall control of all farm protection operations, if this should be required. Cool thinking and the ability to deploy and re-deploy rapidly was the name of the game.
Major Giel Reinecke would sort out the logistics, no question about that. One major concern remained. We dearly needed timeous early warning from Sector The whole stance of 61 Mech was to pre-empt and be pro-active. Our unit, as such, was extremely uncomfortable when we had no choice, but to wait for something to happen. Our dictum had always been to search for forward ground and to be ready at all times.
Frustration was not the word to explain our current situation. So be it 61 Mech, be ready in any case, notwithstanding… After all, this was not our responsibility anymore. It was the responsibility of Sector 30 and their Northern Border Company now deployed at Tsintsabis, was it not?
In April-May they came. To achieve, the foe needed to assail simultaneously from Lubango via Cahama and Techamutete-Cassinga. The main goal was to terrorise the White farming community and to bring about propaganda gains through devious deeds in the Death Triangle. The enemy needed to cross vast expanses of ground to reach their targets and exfiltrate again. It took planning, craft utilisation, time and effort. Own forces needed to track down and destroy the enemy across the same ground which took better planning, craftier utilisation, optimal utilisation of time and effort.
Naturally all enemy infiltrating routes led south and exfiltrating routes led north. There were basically two aiming points for the enemy when attacking towards the killing area south of the Red Line: Firstly by pouncing on Kamanjab and Outjo from the western side of the Etosha and secondly, to take on Tsumeb-Grootfontein-Otavi- Otjiwarongo through the bush veldt, to the east of the Etosha.
To come through the stark Etosha Pan would be shear madness if without a respirator and sixteen jerry cans of water per combatant. It was difficult to survive and to hide in the harshness of this unforgiving terrain. It was relatively easy to hunt the enemy down in the infertility of this killing field. From there by road to Cahama. From Cahama on foot, passing Ruacana to its east, southwards to the north-western fringes of the Etosha Game Reserve, km and counting.
Then, action stations, onto Kamanjab and Outjo, another gruelling km, for the dying to begin. To the east there were the abundance of cover, food and water of Ovamboland and Okavango — everything the insurgent required to sustain deep infiltrations to the far south.
The one problem was the sandy soil conditions to the north of the Bravo cutline. The sand stretched deep into southern Angola. This terrain was ideal for the tracking of the insurgents by the security forces. From their base our wily foe travelled in luxury by Russian Ural past Matala to Techamutete-Cassinga.
Then it was a la foot all the way south, until the lights of Tsumeb winked, km to go and counting. To the south of the Red Line it was another winter ballgame all together. There were plentiful hiding place in the dense thorny bush and the ground was extremely firm and rocky, which made tracking difficult for own forces. There were, however, a few advantages for the hunters.
The first was the mere fact that they knew the terrain better than the enemy did. The next was the excellent infrastructure, which allowed the rapid deployments of forces by ground and air means. Especially those committed, tenacious local trackers, the mainstay against terrorism. They were out there, taking point, searching for and destroying the enemy at high tempo, notwithstanding the thorns.
The hard rocky earth, nor the Russian Pom-Z personnel mines, could put off the undaunted trackers and their persistent follow-up groups. The highly committed teams were spreading out on the ground — relentlessly searching and destroying until the job was done. The local fighters were supreme, they knew the ground man, and they knew the ground. The foxes left countless Russian Pom-Z mines and other booby-traps in their wakes to deter the hounds.
During Operation Yahoo many a follow-up force became victim of those explosive devices left behind by the receding enemy. To enemy mines alone our force sustained two killed and twenty six wounded. The answers to these threats of the undaunted were sixth sense, superb field craft, eyes to the ground, eyes to the front, fire, take cover, win the fire fight, fire and manoeuvre from the ground and the air, and fight through the enemy to the other side.
To carry on and repeat the performance until the job was done. Alpha and Bravo were well maintained. The Bravo cut-line was patrolled on a daily basis throughout the year. Every day the km was traversed by soldier, Buffel mine protected troop carrier and broom. The broom was usually a small tree pulled behind the vehicle, which left clean drag marks for the next patrol to follow, so as to find enemy tracks more easily. The Bravo was based on the Red Line; the Alpha was located parallel to the Bravo, 10km further to the north.
Cut-line Charlie lay approximately 30km further north inside Ovamboland and was also parallel to the Alpha and Bravo. On completion of Operation Carrot in April it was decided to develop an additional cut-line further to the south of Bravo inside the farming area.
The aforementioned cut-line was still being constructed when Operation Yahoo commenced on 14 April The new cut-line was known as Delta and lay approximately 30 km to the north of Tsumeb — it cut across farms and fences from east to west.
A yellow grader was still standing on the Delta, left abandoned by its crew. It would later on in Yahoo entice a group of insurgents stupidly so to fire a RPG rocket at in the darkness. The cut-lines together with the excellent road network in the region facilitated rapid movement by own forces for follow-up and cut-off deployments. Enemy tracks crossing these control lines equally provided early warning of crossings and valuable tactical intelligence — how many enemies in, when; how many out, when?
The farm fences were a problem when hunting and destroying insurgents at high tempo. Fast hunting was at the order of the day and the follow-up groups could not be bothered with fences; they summarily drove over these hindrances with their combat vehicles.
Koevoet became past masters at this. Good roads infrastructure in the operational zone to the south was excellent for the rapid traversing of forces to deploy, to cut off and to follow-up.
Air fields and air strips were in abundance. Helicopters could even land at farms and refuel there from previously positioned fuel drums. Here the gunships waited close by for the right moment to be dispatched and strike. Radio and telephone communications were superb in the region and could be described as one of our main force multipliers.
We rather needed the enemy in the inhabited farming area, which allowed our counter-insurgency forces free hunting in the more open killing locales of the farms and the surrounding bush. What counted in our favour was the advantage of having real time and near-real-time intelligence provided for by the local population. The intelligence system for the area was linked into a comprehensive informer scheme.
The extensive network of intelligence contacts and agents were linked by the military area network and local telephone system. Such was the influence of terrain, as the neutral factor, on counter-insurgency operations in the Death Triangle. Terrain was a constant factor that was assessed minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, and daily. The maps were marked and updated minute-by-minute. Keeping the finger on the pulse and staying one step ahead of the enemy became the norm.
From these planning and thinking exercises followed quick orders for rapid force employments and precision engagements. The Winter Game, which had begun on a sad note on 15 April for us, came to be fun by the 17th.
Keep the Insurgents Out of the Mountains Dear readers look at a topographical map of the Death Triangle and see the rugged mountains stand out like a painful throbbing thumb. The rugged thorn-surfaced mountains are encapsulated within the folds of Tsumeb, Grootfontein and Otavi. In turn, these towns are surrounded by dense entangled thorny African bush. The terrain conditions favoured the wily ways and means of the insurgent in a way.
Rules 1 for the insurgents were to aim for the cover of the rugged mountains. This was the terrain best suited for the exponent of unconventional warfare.The New Deal in Three Minutes
From its protective folds the enemy could strike outwards at the juicy targets presented in the surrounds. Rule 1 for the security forces was to keep the enemy out of the mountains, because it was damn difficult to hunt for them there.
Terrain the Neutral Factor What remains to be seen in the end was who had exploited the terrain the best, when it came to either fighting or evading. The dictum was quite simple really: The one who used the terrain the best has the best fighting or evading chance… What did the terrain allow the enemy to do, what did the terrain force the enemy to do?
What did the terrain allow own forces to do, what did the terrain force own forces to do? Everything conceived was formulated in terms of time and space, the enemy as well as own forces — war-gaming supreme.
Our battle map was coloured and marked. A map should speak to you as ours did. Our military apperception concerning terrain, enemy and own forces focused on three important interlocking viewpoints: Make the battle plan and go and get them. The best plan was to hunt the enemy down persistently north of the cut-lines. Do not let him enter the Death Triangle in the first place, should have been the dictum. If this was not possible, strike the enemy down in the farming areas. The reasons for this were that there were abundant sources to report enemy presence and movement in those areas, which would lead to the death of many insurgent.
More so, the counter-insurgency forces knew the terrain like the palm of their hand. The local area force units were the masters — they wove the fabric for counter terrorism insistently. Know your foe, know yourself and know the terrain! Seven Keys to Success on the Ground for Counter Insurgency The big seven — seven keys to success… Lessons learned from the enemy infiltrations. What were those seven force multiplying factors, which needed to be held firmly in play on Mother Earth, through leadership — the participative open-minded kind?
Success together with communication and teamwork raised high productivity and high morale — tell me all about it. Go all out for information superiority, whilst denying it to the enemy. The latter mix led to quality decision-making and precision engagement. The norm simply stated is that psychological to the physical, is as three is to one.
May the best man, with the highest morale, using the terrain optimally and knowing his enemy by heart and sinew, win! Through the issuing of this code word counter-insurgency contingency plans were immediately activated and previously arranged combat and support resources were released for action.
The respective part-time area force units AFU — similar to erstwhile commando units in South Africa were the first-line responders. This happened according to elaborate stand-by arrangements. It was worked out beforehand for each year to keep a few staff officers higher up busy. The force composition included military as well as police forces.
Those part-time force pilots knew the terrain in SWA extremely well. Transport aircraft, helicopter gunships and light reconnaissance and liaison aircraft flew in to Tsumeb airfield as if cheaper by the dozen. It was merriment to have your own air force. It was viewed as the bulwark against major enemy incursions into the Death Triangle from the north. It was a reactive plan.
A wait and see plan and then come awake plan. I did not like that plan. I had propagated the re-invention of Operation Awake many a time after we had completed Operation Carrot successfully by 18 April Early in 61 Mech had developed its own contingency plan anyway, within the constraints imposed by Operation Awake.
In due fairness, the higher military realms had not provided sufficient military resources to Sector 30 to do a proper pre-emptive job.
They therefore sat twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the enemy to strike every blooming April.
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Only then would they start defending their wickets — makes you think about sense and non-sense does it not? Sector 30 was therefore the one responsible to counter the insurgent threat into the White farming area south of the Red Line.
The sector relied on the efficiency of Sectors 10 and 20 to their north to stop or impede the foe. If this did not work, boy, then they were in deep trouble! Even so, Sector 30 relied on tactical intelligence and early warning generated from up north, to get their house in order to the south in time. If all else failed up north, Sector 30 had to rely on early warning of enemies coming for them from up there — who, what, where, when, how?
Sector 30 was more attuned to farm protection and the continuous training of their part-time force units and members. They had no other forces to deploy and were therefore a completely reactive force. The meagre infantry numbers of the Northern Border Company patrolled and swept the Bravo cut-line second-by-second. There were no more Buffels and eyes to go around doing anything serious about the Alpha and Charlie cut-lines further to their north.
Stand and Deliver — Innocent Communities to the South. O yes, the innocent peoples living on the edge to the south of the Red Line were informed by their military compatriots: So the cut-lines it were and the ever vigilant super efficient area force units as the bulwark against terrorism. Thanks heaven for that. Luckily for them the friendlier that 61 Mech lurked in the bushy fringes of Ovamboland at Omuthiya within striking distance of the Death Triangle.
If the enemy crossed the battle lines to the north, fun and dying was to be had to the south. The shooting lasted about two months and then ended for a while; until about the same time the next year. Then once again, repeat performances of the Winter Games, again-and-bloody-again ad infinitum.
Until death once again ripped us apart by means of a landmine explosion, fighting gunships or something unholy to be found in abundance in the bush. Life there, up north, was then usually followed by two months of agony, interspersed with minute spurts of ecstasy.
Afterwards it was back to peaceful farming, doing business, window-shopping and undergoing schooling again… Back to normal life south of the Red Line — thanks army, thanks police, thanks air force, thanks 61 Mech. If the enemy crossed the battle lines drawn to the north… Alpha, Bravo and Charlie… then the heavens of the SADF, SWATF and the police will open, flooding umpteen fighting ground and air force units into the Death Triangle — the more the merrier; at what cost?
This normally lasted until the crisis was resolved in the Death Triangle by means of high intensity counter-insurgency warfare, search and destroy style. The reason for this was simple. In SWAPO had done their homework, they came back better prepared and more dedicated and ferocious. It took the security forces close on two months to find, fix and destroy them.
Came March-April a large number of insurgents were stealthily making their way southwards from southern Angola, fanatically so. They had a plan! Who knew about this? Those insurgents of theirs, who infiltrated hundreds of kilometres from southern Angola through to Tsumeb on foot, had pure guts.
It was a treacherous journey, considering fierce dangers from harsh environ, opposing heavily armed angry men and their umpteen war machines. From the area of Techamutete-Cassinga to the border alone is approximately km by foot, through treacherous dense bush clad veldt.
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From the Angolan border to Tsumeb the terrorists snuck a further km southwards by foot. This happened with black combat boots, Chinese rice patterned combat fatigues, AK rifles, drab veldt rucksacks and some other devious goodies of their devilish trade.
Their arsenal included propaganda pamphlets and badges of SWAPO which could be dished out to willing and unwilling recipients. Also mines and more mines and a few SAM-7s Russian shoulder launched ant-aircraft missile system they brought with them this time around. I salute them as one soldier to another. They were no military walk-over this time around.
Let us keep the politics out of this argument for the moment. The lights of the mining town of Tsumeb and the flickering red lights on the communication masts near the Lake Otjikoto would soon be winking at the insurgents in the night. The glow would guide them towards the south into a killing field — like a flame entices a moth. The unit had an active strength of about four hundred combatants. Their command cadre underwent rigorous training overseas in Eastern Bloc countries and in China.
New recruits were carefully selected for infiltration missions, especially those earmarked for the deep raids directed at the White farming area, south of the Red Line. The commander of Volcano was legendary Danger Ashipala. Danger was supported in the command by his second-in-command Kapoko, political commissar High Court as well as engineering commander Kandove.
The names of these insurgents denoted their combat names, which they used for security purposes. Many of these insurgents became legendary under their combat names during the border war. After the war I have met a few of them with a beer in hand, really nice people.
Volcano was well trained in subversive tactics such as: Infiltration; counter-tracking; field craft; survival; camouflage and concealment; deception; ambushing; attacks; sabotage; mine-laying; surprise killings; special demolitions; communications; basic first-aid; political and propaganda actions. In as a young paratrooper captain I went to Taiwan on a special warfare course to learn what mainland China was teaching our enemy — the subjects mentioned above.
We referred to this as: The main operational base of Volcano was located approximately 35km south-west of Lubango.
From the interrogations of sixteen captured insurgents later on, Captain Gerrie Hugo could draw a neat sketch of the base and position its whereabouts close to Lubango. This was another juicy target for our Special Forces or the air force, or both, to be had somewhere in the near future. Volcano was organised into ten platoons of 35 — 45 men each. The platoon commanders were: The building of this picture was in the capable hands of Captain Gerrie Hugo, the intelligence officer of 61 Mech who also acted as the intelligence officer for Operation Yahoo.
It was a grand team, clever guys, working as a close knit team — out think the foe was the norm. All sixteen of them who were captured during the course of the operation, participated spontaneously in this interesting play-off. It was truly not necessary for undue persuasion; most of the times our friends spilled the beans within 30 minutes of being captured. It was amazing to see. Another extremely valuable source of intelligence was captured enemy documents found on the living or the dead.
What was further interesting to observe was that all our intelligence requirements, formulated at the beginning of the operation, were satisfied as we shot insurgent-by-insurgent, jot and title.
Tick the box — who, what, where, when, why and how. His group carried a large quantity of explosives and vehicle as well as personnel mines. For what, who and why, nobody could tell us. That was before the heroes of the revolution departed for their respective missions. Sam Nujoma did it in person. The final instructions to the insurgent commanders were withheld until the last minutes before their departure. This was how strict SWAPO was about keeping this particular raid secret and to maintain operational security.
The main message portrayed by the senior cadre was that: Sally forth and do it comrades! The seven groups left their base near Lubango and travelled by vehicle to Matala and then eventually to the Techamutete-Cassinga area, the jump-off point. From the border to Tsumeb was another km. In my book their effort portrayed sheer guts and tenacity. Mandume had already left for his reconnaissance mission to eastern Ovamboland.
Kilimandjaro and his platoon left a few days later as well. They travelled from their base by vehicle to the area of Cahama. The other two eastern groups were tasked to commit terrorist actions in the Mangetti slightly to the north of the Red Line.
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Part of their mission was to deceive the security forces and to fix and attack them in the Mangetti. The Tasking of the Respective Insurgent Groupings — Devious Deeds to be Done It is interesting to note that Volcano was on its way to infiltrate as far southwards by foot, as we had raided northwards by vehicle and parachute during Operation Daisy in November There would, however, be more killing in Aprilthan there were in November The enemy groups were infiltrating in large numbers right through the reasonably closely packed screen of security forces, The enemy would cross in the night, on 14 Aprilto the east of Omuthiya, half-way between the road leading to Ondangwa in the west and the one to Rundu in the east.
We would meet the enemy at midday on the Bravo cut-line, on 15 April, km east of Tsintsabis — destiny? Interestingly enough, to come back to Operation Daisy for a moment, 61 Mech had left Omuthiya on 30 October for Chitequeta, to participate in Operation Daisy. The main target complex for Daisy was about km south-east of Techamutete-Cassinga — from where Volcano now came. Was the deep raid by Volcano a fair warning for what, in the future?
Political games shall continue elsewhere, not our worries at the moment. New York  at the start of At issue in each case were state laws relating to economic regulation.
Blaisdell concerned the temporary suspension of creditor 's remedies by Minnesota in order to combat mortgage foreclosuresfinding that temporal relief did not, in fact, impair the obligation of a contract. Nebbia held that New York could implement price controls on milk, in accordance with the state's police power. While not tests of New Deal legislation themselves, the cases gave cause for relief of administration concerns about Associate Justice Owen Roberts, who voted with the majority in both cases.
Congress to regulate commerce. Hughes believed the primary objection of the Supreme Court to the New Deal was its poorly drafted legislation. Just three weeks after its defeat in the railroad pension case, the Roosevelt administration suffered its most severe setback, on May 27, Radfordand Schechter Poultry Corp.
His failure to prevent poorly-drafted New Deal legislation from reaching Congress is considered his greatest shortcoming as Attorney General. A legal opinion authored by McReynolds inwhile U. Attorney General, is the most probable source for Roosevelt's court reform plan. The coming conflict with the court was foreshadowed by a campaign statement Roosevelt made: After March 4,the Republican party was in complete control of all branches of the government—the legislature, with the Senate and Congress; and the executive departments; and I may add, for full measure, to make it complete, the United States Supreme Court as well.
Roosevelt inquired about the rate at which the Supreme Court denied certiorarihoping to attack the Court for the small number of cases it heard annually. He also asked about the case of Ex parte McCardlewhich limited the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, wondering if Congress could strip the Court's power to adjudicate constitutional questions.
Corwin in a December 16, letter.
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Corwin had relayed an idea from Harvard University professor Arthur Holcombe, suggesting that Cummings tie the size of the Supreme Court's bench to the age of the justices since the popular view of the Court was critical of their age. An opinion written by Associate Justice McReynolds—one of Cumming's predecessors as Attorney General, under Woodrow Wilson —had made a proposal in which was highly relevant to Roosevelt's current Supreme Court troubles: Judges of the United States Courts, at the age of 70, after having served 10 years, may retire upon full pay.
In the past, many judges have availed themselves of this privilege. Some, however, have remained upon the bench long beyond the time that they are able to adequately discharge their duties, and in consequence the administration of justice has suffered.
I suggest an act providing that when any judge of a federal court below the Supreme Court fails to avail himself of the privilege of retiring now granted by law, that the President be required, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint another judge, who would preside over the affairs of the court and have precedence over the older one. This will insure at all times the presence of a judge sufficiently active to discharge promptly and adequately the duties of the court.
Contents[ edit ] The provisions of the bill adhered to four central principles: Roosevelt wanted to present the legislation before the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on the Wagner Act cases, scheduled to begin on February 8, ; however, Roosevelt also did not want to present the legislation before the annual White House dinner for the Supreme Court, scheduled for February 2.