In 1930, Hughes was appointed chief justice of the United States by President Hoover; he retired in 1941. As chief justice, Hughes generally held a moderately conservative position, and was often a swing vote on a court divided between conservative and liberal factions. The Hughes court helped develop the modern notion of freedom of speech through such decisions as Near v. Minnesota (1931), which largely voided all laws permitting prior restraint of press publication. More often than not, he voted to uphold controversial legislation of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, though in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935), he wrote the opinion that found the act that created the National Recovery Administration to be unconstitutional. He vigorously opposed Roosevelt's unsuccessful effort to reorganize the Supreme Court in 1937.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.