The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 51
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Defeat of the Roosevelt Court Bill in 1937
did placate some of the more partisan members of Congress; he had,
at the same time, rendered himself persona non grata with the leaders
of the administration, especially the President. Moreover, Representa-
tive Sumners and Senator Connally were also in the doghouse. These
three Texans helped to deal Roosevelt a staggering blow-his "first
major defeat as President. He never forgot it.""'
Most of the Texas politicians in Washington had little chance to be
counted because of the actions of these three men. First, Sumner's
refusal to consider the federal court-reorganization bill in his Judiciary
Committee left the House no chance to go on record by vote. This
aspect of the struggle was most significant, for if a bill had been
reported out, the available evidence indicates it would have easily
passed the House. Second, Senator Connally helped to kill the bill
in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where because of the closeness
of the vote, his views on the plan were important. Third, Vice-Pres-
ident Garner's tacit support of the opposition ruined chances of a
compromise." Thus, these three Texans, in the order of their impor-
tance in the matter, helped to kill the court bill. Actually, Sumners'
opposition was probably enough to insure its defeat. Without taking
any "honors" from Senator Connally or Vice-President Garner, the
distinction of the title "the man who killed the court bill" rightfully
belongs to Hatton W. Sumners of Dallas.
"Connally and Steinberg, My Name is Tom Connally, 192.
"6Garner certainly had the power to obstruct. According to Farley, Garner "was the
most influential Vice President in the history of this country." Farley to L. V. P., Sep-
tember So, 1952. Others agreed. Jesse Jones to L. V. P., interview, March 6, 1952; Maury
Maverick to L. V. P., interview, March 8, 1952; and O. H. Cross to L. V. P., interview,
September 24, 1952; Ickes, The Secret Diary of Harold L. Ickes, II, 179.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/63/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.