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Judicial restraint is the antonym of judicial activism (Ringhand & Collins, 2010).
The discussion between judiciary restraint and judicial activism started in the early days of the United States of America and has proceeded to the present. A number of renowned Supreme Court justices such as John Marshall have supported the judicial activism view, the belief that it’s the role of the judges to chart new constitutional grounds as well as make bold policy decisions. Supporters of legal activists are to judicial restraint that supports that the judiciary should leave the policy formulation and decisions making process to the executive and legislative branches (Ringhand & Collins, 2010).
For decades, Republican Party leaders have decried judicial activism and championed for judicial restraint. Republican politicians have associated judicial restraint with a commitment to judicial deference, stating that judges who support judicial activism disrespect the will of many people. The debate has continued to warrant close inspection as a result of the deployment of judicial activism by Republic politicians during the Supreme Court confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as well as in the 2008 presidential elections. The senators were utterly aghast that Sonia’s experience and background might affect her decisions and that she may be an activist. The Sotomayors emphasized that justices make no laws and policies but merely apply those laws that are in existence (Davis, 2009). It is uncontroversial to indicate that only chief Justice Scalia and Justice Roberts Alito and Thomas belong to the number of judges who are in the political circles of Republican. Justice Alito and Roberts were nominated by Bush and were considered Republican favorites. The two were however not democrat’s favorites, and President Obama was not ready to vote
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However, there are usually difficulties in ascertaining Parliament’s intention as the statute may not always be clear or may be capable of several interpretations. Moreover, the statute may be inconsistent with another statute. Complicating matters, all law must be interpreted in a way that is consistent with European community law2 and the European Convention on Human Rights.3 The judiciary devised a system of rules used for resolving the tensions that arise in interpreting and applying statutes to avoid inconsistencies in law and in the application of a particular statute.
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