Radford and Huey Long

On May 27, 1935, the Supreme Court issued three anti-New Deal opinions in what came to be known as “Black Monday.”  The first was A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, which invalidated the National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA).  The second was Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, which held that the President Roosevelt had exceeded his authority by firing without cause a member of the FTC. The third was Louisville Joint Stock Land Bank v. Radford. which knocked down the Frazier-Lemke Farm Mortgage Moratorium Act for violating the Takings Clause. The Frazier-Lemke Act, in essence, allowed farmers in foreclosure to stay that proceeding in a bankruptcy court for up to five years, during the which the debtor could stay in the home paying rent and, if the lender consented, repurchase the property at its current value.

In reading Jeff Shesol’s excellent book on the contest between FDR and the Supreme Court, I stopped when he explained that Frazier-Lemke was “driven to passage by Huey Long.”  As you know, I’ve been researching the connections between Long and the New Deal, but I didn’t know that Long could be tied to Black Monday.  I’ll have to peruse the Congressional Record more closely to see what Long’s role was in enacting this statute.

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