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NEWS
April 3, 2012 | By Jon Healey
President Obama is a lawyer by training and a former professor of constitutional law, and I am neither. Still, I can't help but think his remarks today about "judicial activism" and the Supreme Court's review of the 2010 healthcare reform law were hyperbolic. At a news conference held jointly with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama was asked, "[H]ow would you still guarantee healthcare to the uninsured and those Americans who've become insured as a result of the law" if the measure's individual mandate were declared unconstitutional?
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OPINION
April 6, 2012
The costs of U.S. war Re "A son heads off to war," Opinion, April 1 David Freed's Op-Ed article on his son's deployment to Afghanistan should be required reading for everyone. When a country goes to war, as ours did, everyone should have a stake in it and should somehow be involved. Freed's comment about politicians who "seem only too happy to pick fights and then let other people's kids throw the punches" says much about the seeming indifference of Americans to what's going on in their names.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 1989
Your article "Court Returns to Abortion, Other Issues" (Part I, Oct. 2) states "(Justice Antonin) Scalia, a forceful and impatient intellectual, urged his conservative colleagues to take an activist approach toward protecting business and economic interests." It's interesting that conservatives have no problem with "judicial activism" when done on behalf of wealthy, white, Christian males, but call it abhorrent when done on behalf of the majority of Americans. MICHAEL DAVIDSON Studio City
NEWS
April 3, 2012 | By Jon Healey
President Obama is a lawyer by training and a former professor of constitutional law, and I am neither. Still, I can't help but think his remarks today about "judicial activism" and the Supreme Court's review of the 2010 healthcare reform law were hyperbolic. At a news conference held jointly with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama was asked, "[H]ow would you still guarantee healthcare to the uninsured and those Americans who've become insured as a result of the law" if the measure's individual mandate were declared unconstitutional?
OPINION
January 22, 2010 | By Erwin Chemerinsky
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision holding that corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts of money in election campaigns is a stunning example of judicial activism by its five most conservative justices. In striking down a federal statute and explicitly overturning prior decisions, the court has changed the nature of elections in the United States. At the same time, the conservative justices have demonstrated that decades of conservative criticism of judicial activism was nonsense.
OPINION
April 6, 2012
The costs of U.S. war Re "A son heads off to war," Opinion, April 1 David Freed's Op-Ed article on his son's deployment to Afghanistan should be required reading for everyone. When a country goes to war, as ours did, everyone should have a stake in it and should somehow be involved. Freed's comment about politicians who "seem only too happy to pick fights and then let other people's kids throw the punches" says much about the seeming indifference of Americans to what's going on in their names.
OPINION
July 3, 2005
Three essays on judicial activism in the June 26 Opinion section fail to mention the real issue -- the increasing repudiation of the principle of the independence of the judiciary. Independent judges are increasingly an endangered species from at least four angles: (1) Large sums of money are poured into local elections in some states to defeat judges whose decisions are unpopular with ideologues. (2) There is hypocritical outrage among legislators over judicial decisions that must be made because they write vague laws in the first place.
OPINION
June 26, 2005 | MICHAEL KINSLEY
The "takings" clause of the 5th Amendment is for conservatives what the equal protection clause of the 14th is for liberals. It wouldn't be fair to say that conservatives cherish property the way liberals cherish equality. But it would be fair to say that the takings clause is the conservative recipe for judicial activism -- imposing their agenda through the courts, rather than bothering with democracy -- the way they say liberals have misused the equal protection clause.
OPINION
June 26, 2005 | Swati Pandey
Liberals and conservatives don't agree on what judicial activism is, and here are some of the cases they cite in making their arguments. Makes conservatives mad Roe vs. Wade, 1973 This landmark decision legalized abortion by enumerating a right of privacy extrapolated from a broad reading of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.
NEWS
July 7, 1989 | DAVID G. SAVAGE and DAVID LAUTER, Times Staff Writers
When Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist lowered his gavel Monday on the 1989 term of the Supreme Court, he marked the end of an era of judicial activism that had lasted four decades and profoundly transformed the structure of American government and society. It was an era in which the high court--and the rest of the federal judiciary, following its lead--took center stage in American politics, staking out a role as a powerful, persistent and controversial protector of minority rights.
NATIONAL
March 30, 2012 | By David Horsey
It's no surprise that professional pundits are shocked that the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority appears ready to toss out the entire federal healthcare plan -- the plan Republicans delight in calling "Obamacare. " Self-proclaimed experts are often wrong, though that does not slow down their relentless prognostications and chatter. And it will be no surprise that conservatives who decry judicial activism will cheer the justices if they choose to engage in decidedly bold judicial activism by nullifying a major piece of legislation passed and approved by democratically elected members of the legislative and executive branches of government.
OPINION
January 22, 2010 | By Erwin Chemerinsky
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision holding that corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts of money in election campaigns is a stunning example of judicial activism by its five most conservative justices. In striking down a federal statute and explicitly overturning prior decisions, the court has changed the nature of elections in the United States. At the same time, the conservative justices have demonstrated that decades of conservative criticism of judicial activism was nonsense.
NATIONAL
July 12, 2009 | David G. Savage and James Oliphant
When Judge Sonia Sotomayor goes before a Senate committee this week, she will be pressed to answer a question that has lingered since President Obama nominated her for the Supreme Court. If given a lifetime appointment, will she be a justice who views the law through a liberal lens shaped by her Latino heritage? Or will she follow her long track record as a moderate judge who sticks to the facts and the law regardless of the outcome?
OPINION
May 14, 2009
Re "SOS for the GOP: The party establishment can't help -- it's the problem," Opinion, May 10 Richard A. Viguerie talks about getting back to the time-tested GOP principles of low taxes, a strong national defense and traditional values. The items that George W. Bush espoused when he ran for president were tax cuts, rebuilding our military and his view of religious social values. When elected, he governed by twice cutting taxes, made wild increases in military spending and created faith-based spending programs.
OPINION
December 26, 2008
Re "Gay marriage ban overturned," May 16 On Thursday, four non-elected public servants betrayed 4,618,673 Californians in legalizing same-sex marriage. These judges decided that their opinion was more important than a law that 61% of California voters passed in 2000. Since when did judges make law? I swore that was the job of the legislative branch. Adam Cabrera Upland -- I know this is hard for evangelical primitivists to understand, but the California Supreme Court was not engaged in "judicial activism."
OPINION
September 10, 2008
Re "Drug makers seek shield from suits," Sept. 7 The Times' article regarding shielding drug companies from suits, while attempting to be evenhanded, failed to mention an important point: The editorial staff of the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the United States, made a strong argument against preemption in its May 1, 2008, issue and has since filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court....
NEWS
September 28, 1997 | RONALD BROWNSTEIN, TIMES POLITICAL WRITER
Turning up the heat in a simmering partisan dispute, President Clinton on Saturday accused Senate Republicans of systematically blocking his nominations to the federal judiciary and creating "a vacancy crisis in our courts." Using unusually pointed language, Clinton charged in his weekly radio address that a Republican slowdown in the consideration of judicial nominations has left the federal courts "strained to the breaking point."
NATIONAL
May 19, 2008 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
John McCain and Barack Obama, the two leading presidential candidates, have set out sharply contrasting views on the role of the Supreme Court and the kind of justices they would appoint. Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.), in a speech two weeks ago, echoed the views of conservatives who say "judicial activism" is the central problem facing the judiciary. He called it the "common and systematic abuse . . . by an elite group . . . we entrust with judicial power."
OPINION
October 30, 2007
Genarlow Wilson, who was sentenced to a decade in prison and branded a child molester for having consensual sex with another teenager, is a free man, thanks to what some would call judicial activism. In releasing Wilson, who was 17 when he had oral sex with a 15-year-old girl, the Georgia Supreme Court has done more than redress an individual injustice. It has reminded this nation that judges are not just bureaucrats or (as U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
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