From the Gallup Vault: On Feb. 5, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed adding up to six voting members to the U.S. Supreme Court, one for every 70-year-old justice who refused to retire. This was instantly perceived as an attempt to stack the court with liberal justices who would preserve Roosevelt's New Deal programs. A month later, Gallup found 47% of Americans favoring Roosevelt's plan and 53% opposing it.
Americans remained closely divided for the next several months until the plan became moot. Roosevelt's side started winning Supreme Court cases, nullifying Roosevelt's need for the plan -- and it ultimately died in the U.S. Senate.
As we would expect today, these attitudes were highly partisan. Seventy percent of Democrats nationwide favored Roosevelt's proposal, while nearly all Republicans -- 92% -- opposed it. Of additional interest, and perhaps relevant to the plan's demise, a special Gallup sample of lawyers at the same time found just 23% in favor and 77% opposed.
Read more from the Gallup Vault.