Essay heading: Activism in Disguise: A inquiry into the motives of Judicial Restraint

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Philosophy

 

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March 10, 2008

 

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When confronted with a case, regardless of the social/moral implications, a judge in the United States must answer one question before he may even hear the details of the case: is this in my jurisdiction? – or in other words – do I have the authority to make a ruling on this particular issue? Since the inception of the union, the American court system has experienced a plethora of historical conflict in the arduous balancing act between federal power and state sovereignty...
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Because the legal system is ostensibly imperfect, cases are not immediately heard in an appropriate court. It often takes several rounds of appeal proceeding in order for an important case to make it up to the felicitous superior court. If indeed a judge believes a particular decision is out of his authority or beyond the scope of his court’s rule, he is obliged to restrain his power and say so...
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