Monday, January 2, 2017

Judicial Activism vs. Judicial Restraint

Judicial Activism and Judicial Restraint are polar opposites by definition. While both are well intended, they have dramatic differing implications. One philosophy, Judicial Activism, has the propensity to radically change our nation, some say for the better. The other philosophy, Judicial Restraint, and those who uphold it, would seek to keep such unwarranted change from happening.

Judicial Activism is the philosophy that the Constitution is a living document and must be interpreted loosely into this modern government. Those who agree with this philosophy in the Court system base their decisions off of societal expectations than the specific words of the document. Their decisions in individual cases are often based off a desire for general public welfare, not necessarily upholding the founders intent.

Judicial Restraint on the other hand, stands for a strict adherence the Constitution. These original, and sometimes legalistic thinkers believe that the meaning of the Constitution has not and should not be changed. This philosophy takes the wording literally, and those who apply it to their Court decisions may not be seen in as popular a light.

Judicial Activism, while it may seem more becoming of this modern age, could be very dangerous in that it allows Justices, Judges, and Courts to see the our founding document as idealistic not literal. On the other hand, while Judicial Restraint might be frustrating at times, it seems the best way to uphold justice and liberty for all in the way the founders intended.

Do you agree with Judicial Restraint or Judicial Activism?