The 70th anniversary of Roosevelt's scheme to pack the Supreme Court, perhaps the most blatant attempt at a US power grab since the Burr Conspiracy, is next week. It should be a "date which will live in infamy," but modern political paranoiacs don't seem to know about it. Roosevelt sent his court-reform bill to Congress on Feb. 5, 1937. It didn't take much examination to spot it for what it was. Fortunately in those days, not even R.'s fellow Democrats in the legislature would go along with the pernicious scheme, and after considerable excitement it finally died. Particularly interesting is the cartoon at lower left here - Cartoons - which explicitly compares R. to someone who we now realize was intended to be Adolph H. But in 1937, most of Adolph's infamous crimes lay in the future. The cartoon doubtless alludes to A.H.'s announcement that he would merge the offices of chancellor (his own office, at the time) with that of the president (to replace Hindenberg, who died in 1934). Technically this was legal under the Weimar constitution if the president was incapacitated or dead, as he definitely was. The chancellor could only hold the office until the next election. But of course Adolph never got around to holding a next election. He did hold a national plebiscite, and the maneuver was upheld by some 90% of the German electorate (and although Adolph was far too shrewd to arrange for that to be 99%, any election with even a 90% result makes me suspect fraud). As it turned out in later years, Roosevelt eventually appointed eight Supremes, thereby loading up the court with "his" justices. Some count that as "packing" although it took longer than the 1937 plan. However, if it was packing, it was entirely legal packing, which I suppose does make a difference.