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When was the US Supreme Court first called the Nine Old Men?


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2010-12-24 22:31:21
2010-12-24 22:31:21

While President Franklin D. Roosevelt was credited with creating the nickname "The Nine Old Men" in reference to the US Supreme Court and its elderly justices, the phrase was originally coined by newspaper columnists Drew Pearson and Robert W. Allen in 1932.

Pearson and Allen wrote a regular column called Washington Merry-Go-Round and, in 1932, published a book named More Merry-Go-Round, that included a chapter about the Supreme Court justices titled "Nine Old Men." The label stuck, much to the dismay of the Court.

To make matters worse, Pearson and Allen released a book titled Nine Old Men in 1936. Justices Cardozo and Brandeis, progressives who were both over 70, were especially offended by the authors' characterization of the Court.

Roosevelt used the label with great frequency during his 1937 court-packing campaign.


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