Reassured by his landslide reelection in 1936, Roosevelt overextended his political power in the following year. Believing that his popularity was a mandate to drive forward with his reformist policies, he overreached his grasp and suffered politically for doing so. The greatest blunder Roosevelt made after 1936 was in trying to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with additional justices. Since Marbury v. Madison established the principle of judicial review in 1803, the Supreme Court's job has been to decide on the constitutionality of laws. By declaring a law to be unconstitutional, it checks and balances the powers of the legislative and executive branches. Its methods of interpretation are open to question, however, and by the mid 1930s Roosevelt had become increasingly irritated as the highest court in the nation ruled against one New Deal act after another. By 1936 the Supreme Court had found both the AAA...
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