Judiciary Reform Act 50 Stat. 751 (1937)

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JUDICIARY REFORM ACT 50 Stat. 751 (1937)

This act, a remnant of President franklin d. roosevelt's court-packing proposal, provided that "whenever the constitutionality of any Act of Congress affecting the public interest is drawn in question in any court of the United States … the court shall permit the United States to intervene and become a party." The act further provided for direct appeal to the Supreme Court when a lower court held a congressional act unconstitutional in a case to which the United States or a federal officer was a party. Moreover, such appeals were to be expedited on the Court's calendar.

The act also forbade the issuance by any district court of an injunction suspending enforcement of an act of Congress upon constitutional grounds, unless approved by a specifically convened three-judge court. (A single judge might grant temporary injunctive relief to prevent "irreparable loss" to a petitioner.) The three-judge court's grant or denial of an injunction was directly appealable to the Supreme Court. The remainder of the act amended the judicial code to provide a replacement when a district court judge was unable to perform his work. The constitutionality of the act was never challenged; although the three-judge court requirement was largely repealed in 1976, other sections are still good law.

David Gordon

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Judiciary Reform Act 50 Stat. 751 (1937)

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