chapter  XVIII
XVIII The New Constitutionalism
Pages 25

President Roosevelt had no Supreme Court vacancies to fi ll during his fi rst term, but that changed dramatically after 1936. The death or resignation of justices over the next six years turned the once hostile Court into a New Deal bastion. Roosevelt appointed eight new justices altogether, more than any president since Washington. Congress helped the process along by passing the Retirement Act of 1937 granting full salaries to justices who retired at the age of seventy after ten years of service. Because six of the justices were over seventy (only Cardozo, Stone, and Roberts were younger), the law paved the way for the appointment of new justices. Justice Van Devanter, a conservative, was the fi rst to take advantage of the Retirement Act. His resignation in 1937 created the fi rst vacancy for Roosevelt to fi ll. The president appointed Senator Hugo L. Black of Alabama to take his place.