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

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Tobie W


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January 17, 2016








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This essay primarily will focus on the latter of the two systemic legal manifestations. According to Dworkin, the program of judicial restraint “argues that courts should allow the decisions of other branches of government to stand, even when they offend the judges’ own sense of the principles required by the broad constitution doctrines” (432)...
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Essentially, judicial restraint occurs when a judge passively deems a particular decision ‘out of his court’s jurisdiction’, effectively allowing that particular issue to be decided in a lower court, with the legislature, or at the will of the people. Such deference of power, in the case of judicial restraint, Dworkin claims is directly and systematically opposed to judicial activism, a process where judges actively and directly decide a particular case/issue based on their respective moral agendas...
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