Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Judicial Activism

Q: "How do you define the term "judicial activism," and is it ever proper for a federal appellate judge to consider his or her personal preference as to the outcome of a case (other than the preference to decide the case correctly in accordance with the law) in deciding how to rule?"

A: "Judicial activism could mean many things, but primarily it is the substitution of the court's view for the policymaker's view, in cases where the decision properly should rest with the policymaker, or substituting the court's view for what the Constitution says, where a constitutional provision is at stake. A judge should not consider his or her personal preference as to outcome, any more than an umpire should call balls and strikes based on which team is his or her favorite."

attributed to Judge Jerry Smith by Texoma from a 2003 interview

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