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Building the JudiciaryLaw, Courts, and the Politics of Institutional Development$
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Justin Crowe

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152936

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152936.001.0001

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The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era

The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era


(p.171) Chapter Five The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era
Building the Judiciary

Justin Crowe

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the restructuring of the federal judiciary during the period of Republican dominance from the inauguration of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877 to the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson in 1913. It shows that Gilded Age and Progressive Era politicians pursued judicial reform that focused less on the extent of judicial power and more on the structural logic and internal consistency of the institutional judiciary more generally. The chapter discusses the two stages in which judicial institution building occurred during the period: first, the Gilded Age attempt to unburden the Supreme Court by appointing a new slate of judges to staff circuit courts (1877–1891); and second, the Progressive Era unification and synchronization of all laws concerning the judiciary in one statute (1892–1914). The role played by Republicans and Democrats in judicial institution building in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era is also examined.

Keywords:   federal judiciary, Gilded Age, Progressive Era, judicial reform, judicial power, judicial institution building, Supreme Court, circuit courts, Republicans, Democrats

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