Myth of Judicial Activism Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions

ISBN-10: 0300126913

ISBN-13: 9780300126914

Edition: 2008

Authors: Kermit Roosevelt

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Description:

This carefully considered book is a welcome addition to the debate over “judicial activism.” Constitutional scholar Kermit Roosevelt III offers an elegantly simple way to resolve the heated discord between conservatives, who argue that the Constitution is immutable, and progressives, who insist that it is a living document that must be reinterpreted in new cultural contexts so that its meaning evolves. Roosevelt uses plain language and compelling examples to explain how the Constitution can be both a constant and an organic document. Recent years have witnessed an increasing drumbeat of complaints about judicial behavior, focusing particularly on Supreme Court decisions that critics charge are reflections of the Justices’ political preferences rather than enforcement of the Constitution. The author takes a balanced look at these controversial decisions through a compelling new lens of constitutional interpretation. He clarifies the task of the Supreme Court in constitutional cases, then sets out a model to describe how the Court creates doctrine to implement the meaning of the Constitution. Finally, Roosevelt uses this model to show which decisions can be justified as legitimate and which cannot.
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Book details

List price: $29.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 1/24/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Judging the Court
Deciding Constitutional Cases
The Plain Meaning of the Constitution: The Fallacy of Direct Enforcement
The Model: What Doctrine Is For
From Activism to Legitimacy
Easy Cases
Equal Protection, Criminal Procedure, Executive Detention
Hard Cases
Gay Rights: Romer, Lawrence, and Goodridge
Abortion: Roe and Casey
Takings: Kelo v. City of New London
The Establishment Clause
The Death Penalty: Roper and Atkins
The First Amendment: Campaign Finance Reform
Illegitimacy
Refusing to Defer
Reviled Decisions
Striking the Balance
Branches Behaving Badly: Whom Do You Trust?
Notes
Index
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