Measure designed to curtail the Supreme Court’s power to protect the constitutional rights of alleged political subversives.
The Jenner-Butler bill was one of scores of measures sponsored by conservative members of Congress during 1957-1958 to curtail the Supreme Court’s power in the wake of the Court’s controversial decisions on racial desegregation and the protection of the procedural rights of persons charged with common crimes and political subversion. Unlike other measures, the Jenner-Butler bill reached a floor vote in the Senate, where it was defeated in August, 1958, by the relatively narrow margin of forty-nine to forty-one after vigorous efforts by Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson
The Jenner-Butler bill would have deprived the Court of appellate jurisdiction over cases involving state bar admissions, a response to the Court’s rulings reversing the denial of admission to persons suspected of left-wing political sympathies in Schware v. Board of Bar Examiners of the State of New Mexico
Pennsylvania v. Nelson
Restrictions on court power
Reversals of Court decisions by Congress
Watkins v. United States
Yates v. United States