It Depends Upon What The Word Activism Means

posted by Judge_Burke @ 16:15 PM
September 29, 2011

If you want to create trouble a a neighborhood barbeque just casually  throw out some comment  about judicial activism and then watch how your neighbors who used to get along get in a heated argument.  Is the U.S. Supreme Court running roughshod over the other branches of government?  Is it true, as former  Sen. Arlen Specter claimed, that the Court “has been eating Congress’s lunch by invalidating legislation with judicial activism”?  Judges rarely talk about judicial activism other than to express frustration about political pundits who use the term to Bash courts. There are no judicial training programs on how to be an activist judge nor on how to avoid being an activist. There is a lot of thought, debate and discussion among judges on how to fairly rule on the individual cases that we are called to rule upon. So is judicial activism a plague facing our society or a fiction. 

According to a new report from the Institute for Justice’s Center for Judicial Engagement calledGovernment Unchecked: The False Problem of “Judicial Activism” and the Need for Judicial Engagement, the answer is emphatically no. Judicial activism is a myth.  

Read the report:
So here are some statistics to calm down the neighbors at the barbeque:  The report finds:

•    Congress passed 16,015 laws from 1954 to 2003.  The Supreme Court struck down 104—or just two-thirds of one percent.
•    State legislatures passed 1,029,075 laws over the same period but the Court only struck down 455—orless than one twentieth of one percent
•    The federal government adopted 21,462 regulations from 1986-2006.  The Court struck down 121—or about a half of a percent.
•    In any given year, the Court strikes down just three out of every 5,000 laws passed by Congress and state legislatures.
•    The Supreme Court overturned precedents in justtwo percent of cases considered from 1954 to 2010.


2 Responses to “It Depends Upon What The Word Activism Means”

  1. Debi Mckinnon Says:

    Are you making this up as you go along?

  2. 網站設計 Says:

    Very interesting. thank you for sharing!

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