iOS app Android app

Judicial Activism

We Need Criminal and Civil Justice Reform

Carla DiMare | Posted 08.11.2015 | Politics
Carla DiMare

President Obama recently highlighted the need for criminal justice reform which complements the bipartisan effort to reform our criminal justice system. However, reforming only the criminal justice system falls short of what is needed.

I'm With Stupid: Tough Times for Dissenting Bakers in Orwell-egon

Todd Hartley | Posted 07.10.2015 | Politics
Todd Hartley

By now, you may have heard about the lesbian couple in Oregon who were politely turned down when they asked a bakery owned by a Christian couple to make them a wedding cake.

Refusal to Grant Marriage Licenses Because of Alleged Religious Conviction Is Based More on Politics and Bigotry Than Scripture

Judge H. Lee Sarokin | Posted 07.07.2015 | Gay Voices
Judge H. Lee Sarokin

Clerks have granted marriage licenses to convicted murderers while still in prison despite the Commandment that thou shall not commit murder, but some clerks have decided to draw the line at same-sex marriage licenses -- apparently a more serious offense to their religious principles.

Mystery: Who Is Demeaning the Supreme Court?

Judge H. Lee Sarokin | Posted 06.30.2015 | Politics
Judge H. Lee Sarokin

Answer: Its own members. For years I have been railing against conservatives for eroding confidence in our judicial system by the constant litany of charging judges with being "activists," "following their own agenda," "legislating from the bench," "thwarting the will of the majority" and being "soft on crime."

Hillary And Jeb: Alike Except In The Important Ways

Mark Green | Posted 06.14.2015 | Politics
Mark Green


They're catnip for commentators -- two dynasts announcing within two days. Except the differences far exceed the parallels -- one's a yellow-pad wonk related to a popular ex-POTUS who leads with 60 percent in Democratic polls. The other is a "Jar of Mayo" with 100 percent recognition yet only 10 percent in GOP polls. Lowry and Katrina debate why.

Griswold at 50: An (Incomplete) Constitutional Revolution and Its Meaning Today

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.09.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

It's one of the Supreme Court's most famous, controversial and consequential decisions. On June 7, 1965, the Court in Griswold v. Connecticut struck down legislation prohibiting the use of contraceptives, relying in part upon a "right of privacy" that appears nowhere in the text of the Constitution.

'Liberal' Writer: The Supreme Court 'Has to Go'

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.14.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Last week, Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern advanced an alarming proposal with apparent seriousness: The Supreme Court should be abolished, or, at the very least, ignored.

Three Generations of Judicial Abdication Are Enough: A Reply to Carson Holloway (Part II)

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.10.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Every one of us is entitled to an honest, reasoned explanation when the government requires us to obey a law that we might not agree with, to ensure that that law preserves our liberty rather than depriving us of it. Three generations of judicial abdication are enough.

Denying the Dogma of Judicial Deference: A Reply to Carson Holloway (Part I)

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.09.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

In this post, I will argue that Holloway's approach to judicial review is informed by an understanding of rights that is alien to that of the Framers and ignores the express language of the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. In a subsequent post, I will trace the tragic consequences of that approach.

Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Lochner: Setting the Record Straight on a Great Victory for Economic Liberty

Evan Bernick | Posted 04.07.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Lochner is deeply rooted in an American legal tradition that protects individual rights from overbearing majorities and entrenched special interests, and the decision showcases what courts can and must do to keep the political branches in check.

Stop Complaining About 'Judicial Activism'

Evan Bernick | Posted 02.10.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

The SCOTUS confirmation process has been dominated by extended, fruitless discussions of the supposed scourge of "judicial activism." At a time when the government is claiming unprecedented authority over our lives, we should shift the focus to the judiciary's critical role in protecting our constitutional rights.

California's Constitutional Crisis: Can We the People Speak?

Derek Cressman | Posted 10.06.2014 | Los Angeles
Derek Cressman

While conflicts between our three branches of government over constitutional issues usually occur at the federal level, there is a profound debate happening almost under the radar over state constitutional authority in California. The case deserves our attention

Hobby Lobby: No Veil, No Precedent, No Multiple Payers?

Harold Lloyd | Posted 09.12.2014 | Politics
Harold Lloyd

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Supreme Court's right-wing majority recently concluded that for-profit corporations are "persons" under th...

The Vergara Decision May Have a Silver Lining

Kevin Welner | Posted 08.12.2014 | Education
Kevin Welner

The decision gives real teeth to the state's Constitution, and that could be a very good thing. It's those teeth that I find fascinating, since an approach like that used by the Vergara judge could put California courts in a very different role than we have thus far seen in the U.S.

Judicial Elections - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Judge H. Lee Sarokin | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Judge H. Lee Sarokin

Voltaire said: "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." In this case, I agree with everything...

Idiots, Maniacs and the Problem With Judicial Activism

Jamin Raskin | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Jamin Raskin

There will be no solution to the combat over "judicial activism" since the sin exists in the eye of the beholder and everyone knows it when they see it.

Report: Scalia Links Judicial Activism To Holocaust

The Huffington Post | Posted 07.22.2013 | Politics

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's warnings on judicial activism appear to have gained a new chapter at the Utah Bar Association's 2013 summer con...

Apparently, Ignorance Really Is Bliss

Robert J. Elisberg | Posted 09.08.2013 | Politics
Robert J. Elisberg

Chief Justice John Roberts said that he thought lawyers arguing before the Supreme Court shouldn't answer any questions if they were asked too many, too fast -- and Justice Clarence Thomas has taken this a step further, to its logical conclusion by not even asking questions.

The Supreme Court Ruling on Guns; There Is Something for Both Sides in the Culture War Over Gun Control

David Ropeik | Posted 03.18.2013 | Politics
David Ropeik

Gun control advocates criticize the ruling, yet selectively fail to acknowledge or try to take political advantage of the ways it gives them the legal ammunition to accomplish much of what they want.

Judicial Activism and the Second Amendment

D. Robert Worley | Posted 03.06.2013 | Politics
D. Robert Worley

For most of American history the Second Amendment has protected a state's right to maintain an armed militia. But the notion that it protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms independent of military service is a very recent innovation.

The Judiciary Loses if the Conservatives Win

Judge H. Lee Sarokin | Posted 11.24.2012 | Politics
Judge H. Lee Sarokin

Judges who allow the burning of the American flag, allow Nazis to march, protect the rights of those charged with crimes and even those found guilty and uphold gay and lesbian rights should be revered for their courage and integrity, not punished.

A Giant Step Backward for Voters in Nevada and Beyond

Yousef Abukhdair | Posted 10.23.2012 | Politics
Yousef Abukhdair

A "none of the above" voting option allows Americans to articulate their disappointment with individual candidates and political parties while still being actively involved in the political process. States should be expanding this option, not eliminating it.

Savaging Roberts: Conservatives Run Amok

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 09.02.2012 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

Why have conservatives gone over the cliff in their anger at Roberts? Why can't they just accept that the Chief Justice disagreed with them about one of several very complex constitutional issues presented in this case?

New Gang Law Blows into the Windy City, Causing a Backlash in Illinois

Matthew Lynch, Ed.D. | Posted 08.30.2012 | Black Voices
Matthew Lynch, Ed.D.

New Illinois anti-gang legislation, signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in early June, permits state prosecutors to apply investigation tactics similar to that of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

What If the Supreme Court Treated Corporations Like Unions?

Marge Baker | Posted 08.27.2012 | Politics
Marge Baker

Make no mistake: the Corporate Court has a very different agenda for unions than it has for corporate big spenders. In a decision last week, the Court started to chip away at the rights of unions to influence elections while continuing to leave corporations free to spend as they choose.