Judicial Restraint or Activism Essay

Submitted By whatisthisstuff
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Pages: 3

Judicial Restraint or Judicial Activism The Supreme Court of the United States is a widely controversial topic because they decide what parts of our legislation follow the basic principles set in our constitution. Decisions made by the Supreme Court are often 5-4 votes, with one member generally being a swing vote. Members of the Supreme Court are not elected; they are appointed and serve until resignation or death. Each member of the Supreme Court has a different point of view but ultimately decides whether a law is constitutional or not. They can come to this conclusion by either their personal political views or direct analyzing of the constitution. Both sides are widely disputed and many Supreme Court members only follow one or the other. I believe that both are necessary in order for the Supreme Court to deem laws constitutional or unconstitutional. Judicial Activism is an approach where the Supreme Court judge uses his personal or political values or beliefs in order to reach a verdict. I believe this is needed because the constitution does not take into account many modern aspects of society. In order to deem a law constitutional, the judges must take into account how the world has changed since the constitution was written. While Judicial Activism expands beyond this and into personal, biased beliefs, I believe that all sides need to be represented and reflected in the constitutional laws. Judicial Restraint is the direct analyzing of laws and whether they are constitutional or not. This is necessary because it goes back to the basic principles involved in the creation of our government. If a law directly violates the constitution, the Supreme Court should immediately strike it down as such. The laws in this country may not entirely agree with the constitution, but they cannot go directly against it. The Supreme Court Justice I chose is Antonin Scalia, a judicial activist. He firmly believes in a modern, changing interpretation of the constitution in order to deem laws legal. He constantly challenges laws involving minority groups, a subject not mentioned much in the constitution. He also is reported to ask the most questions and piece together all information possible before he makes a decision. He interprets laws based on how he interprets the constitution, not how it was originally written. He is currently the longest standing Supreme Court Justice currently serving and has followed Judicial Activism throughout his days on the Supreme Court.

Decision Making in the…