Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court
by Jeff Shesol
Norton, 637 pp., $18.95 (paper)
Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices
by Noah Feldman
Twelve, 513 pp., $30.00
Sometime soon the US Supreme Court will decide if the Obama administration’s comprehensive reform of the health care system violates the Constitution. One federal appeals court has upheld the act. A second has no. One of the most important pieces of domestic legislation in decades may stand or fall on the vote on a single member of a politically divided Supreme Court. In 1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt faced a similar situation, only much worse and with even higher stakes.