What constitutes an appropriate role for
the judiciary? Some people argue that courts have become too powerful
and that judges legislate from the bench. What does it mean for a court
to be activist? What does it mean for a court to show judicial
restraint? Although conservatives have long complained about the
activism of liberal justices and judges, in recent years liberals have
pointed out that conservative judges and justices are now more likely to
overturn precedents and question the power of elected institutions of
government. Conservatives counter by saying they are simply returning to
an older precedent that had been ignored by liberals. If both liberals
and conservatives engage in judicial activism, what is the role of the
concept of “activism” (perhaps judicial activism is just a term used to
describe a court decision you disagree with)?
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