What President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed is something that has come to be known as the “court-packing plan.” What Roosevelt proposed was an increase in the number of justices on the Supreme Court. He proposed that he should be able to appoint more justices to the Court. Specifically, he proposed that he would be allowed to add one justice to the Court for every justice who was over the age of 70.
The point of this was to allow Roosevelt to put more justices on the Court who would agree that his New Deal programs were constitutional. The Court had struck down various New Deal programs and Roosevelt was very unhappy with this. After winning reelection, he proposed this plan. This was one of the major mistakes of Roosevelt’s time in office. Even though he was popular, people in Congress and in the country as a whole saw this as a terrible attempt to take more power than the president should have. In the face of strong criticism, the plan was defeated. However, the Supreme Court essentially changed its mind and no longer struck down New Deal legislation.