The first thing a dictator does when he usurps power is to use the legal apparatus of the country to eliminate all opposition to his regime. Immediately after usurping power on March 4, 1933, Roosevelt introduced his Raw Deal alias the New Deal.
He introduced a vast Federal bureaucracy to control every facet of the economic life of the nation. He already had Congress in his pocket through bribes and threats, but the Supreme Court ruled that many of his New Deals were downright unconstitutional. Roosevelt was furious. He was determined to rule like his friends Hitler, Mussolini and Franco.
By 1937, Roosevelt was in his 2nd term and had not appointed one Justice to the Supreme Court. 6 of the Supreme Court judges were over 70 years of age. Roosevelt reminded them of the infirmities of old age and ENCOURAGED them ALL to RESIGN.
To Roosevelt's great disappointment, the judges refused to retire. At that point, Roosevelt decided to bring out his heavy naval guns. In complete secrecy, he told his Cabinet that he proposed to expand the Supreme Court to 15 members by adding a co-justice for every judge over 70. That would give him a majority and make the Supreme Court his obedient servant:
"The FDR plan was simple. The Supreme Court had nine members. Six were over seventy years of age. For each member of the Court who declined to retire at age seventy, Roosevelt proposed that a co-justice be appointed to the Court to serve alongside the older justice. If his bill became law, Roosevelt immediately could make six appointments of co-justices to the Court, and the Court would jump in size from nine to fifteen members. If one of the six justices over seventy chose to retire, the President still would be able to make an appointment to fill his vacant seat on the bench as well as naming five co-justices, but the Court would go up only to fourteen members. If all the justices over seventy retired, FDR could then fill their vacancies, and the Court would stay at nine members. Either way, through the appointment of co-justices or through the retirement of justices over seventy, Roosevelt would have the authority to place on the Supreme Court persons whose philosophy agreed with his." (Back to Back: The Duel between FDR and the Supreme Court pp. 8-9).
Senator Robinson was Al Smith's running mate in 1928, and if Smith had won the election, Robinson would have been Vice President of the United States.
Senator Joe T. Robinson (1872-1937). A victim of the Roosevelt Reich Court packing scheme.
Senator Joe T. Robinson of Arkansas was the Senate Majority leader in 1937. He was ordered by Roosevelt to have the Court packing Bill passed in the Senate . . . at all costs.
Robinson was 64 years old and had a heart condition. The hearings on the Bill began in the Senate on July 6, in the stifling heat of Washington City.
Robinson pulled out all stops to pass the Bill. He even invoked a seldom-used rule of the Senate that limited debate to 2 speeches on one subject per day. Then he forced the Senate to adjourn at the end of each day, instead of recessing, thereby limiting debate on the Bill, and preventing a filibuster.
On July 14, Robinson died of a heart attack in his home near the Senate building.