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The Sympathetic StateDisaster Relief and the Origins of the American Welfare State$
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Michele Landis Dauber

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226923482

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226923505.001.0001

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The Well-Beaten Path

The Well-Beaten Path

(p.151) Six The Well-Beaten Path
The Sympathetic State

Michele Landis Dauber

University of Chicago Press

This chapter details the New Deal's legal strategy in defending Social Security and other welfare programs in the courts. The government's lawyers were largely successful in persuading the Supreme Court that their programs fit within established precedents and the broad limits of congressional authority to tax and spend in the general welfare. Even when the Roosevelt administration lost key Supreme Court cases, the court was careful not to base its judgment on limitations to the spending power, choosing instead to treat the offending legislation as impermissible federal interference in the affairs of the states.

Keywords:   New Deal, legal strategy, Social Security, welfare programs, social welfare, social policy

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