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Judicial restraint and judicial activism - Essay Example

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The doctrine of judicial activism is based on the belief that the federal judiciary is supposed to take an active function by utilizing its powers to examine the activities of the state legislatures, administrative agencies, and the Congress (this is in the case where the…
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Judicial restraint and judicial activism
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Judicial Restraint and Judicial Activism The doctrine of judicial activism is based on the belief that the federal judiciary is supposed to take an active function by utilizing its powers to examine the activities of the state legislatures, administrative agencies, and the Congress (this is in the case where the aforementioned government bodies go beyond their authority). The Supreme Court acted in an activist manner in the period between 1953 and 1969, and this is in an era when Chief Justice Earl Warren headed the Court. The Warren Court instigated the civil rights onward by suggesting that the laws allowing racial segregation were in violation of the equal protection clause (Bardes, Schmidt, and Shelley 459).
On the other hand, the doctrine of judicial restraint holds the assumption that the courts are supposed to submit to the decisions made by the executive and legislative branches. This is because the people elect the president and the members of the Congress and the federal judiciary members are not. The courts are also supposed to submit to the agency decisions and rules. In other words, under this doctrine, the courts are not supposed to hinder the implementation of agency rules and legislative acts unless they are precisely unconstitutional. For instance, many states before the case of Roe v. Wade held that abortion was illegal, regulated sodomy, made homosexual sodomy and adultery a crime (Bardes, Schmidt, and Shelley 459).
Judicial activism approach is appropriate because the courts are able to act in an independent manner. In other words, the courts can make their decisions without the influence of the executive and the legislature. These two branches of the government (executive and legislature) at times make decisions that only serve their interests and not that of the people (Bardes, Schmidt, and Shelley 459). For instance, the in Griswold v. CT case of 1965, the court suggested that the rights to privacy existed and thus, the case overturned the Connecticut law that regulated birth control.
Works Cited
Bardes, B. A., Schmidt, S. W., & Shelley, M. C. American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print. Read More
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