FDR’s Logrolling to Pack Supreme Court

The unsavory political practice known as “logrolling” is discussed in one of the public choice chapters of the Gwartney et al text that I use in my micro principles courses. Here is an apt example:

(p. 193) . . . , McCarran was more than ever determined to (p. 194) fight the Court-packing plan, even if he lost all of his federal patronage.

Roosevelt had some success charming more malleable politicians such as young Florida senator Claude Pepper. Roosevelt invited the wavering Pepper into the Oval Office and turned on the charm. It helped even more when he turned on the spigot. “The president,” Pepper recalled, “was not above a little logrolling, promising to help me win re-election in 1938 and, in my presence, notifying the army that he wanted to see some favorable action on a Florida canal project that I had been pushing.” Pepper ended up backing Roosevelt.

Folsom, Burton W., Jr. New Deal or Raw Deal? How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America. New York: Threshold Editions, 2008.
(Note: ellipsis added.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *