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Judicial Restraint

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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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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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OPINION
March 27, 2012 | By Michael Kinsley
Supreme Court justices, like anyone else, sometimes change their minds. True, there is stare decisis , the principle that they shouldn't change their minds too often. Reason: If you expect citizens and the government to obey the law, they need to know what the law is and will be. Also, it's only fair to treat people in similar situations similarly. But stare decisis is not a hard-and-fast rule. There have been some famous changes of heart and/or mind, such as Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)
NATIONAL
March 31, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — When the incoming Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. came before the Senate for confirmation seven years ago, President Reagan's solicitor general gave him a warm endorsement as a "careful, modest" judge. "He's not a man on a mission," Harvard Law professor Charles Fried testified, adding that Roberts was not likely "to embark on constitutional adventures. " But two years ago, the Roberts-led Supreme Court struck down the federal and state laws that for a century had barred corporations and unions from pouring money into election campaigns.
NEWS
July 2, 1987 | JAMES GERSTENZANG, Times Staff Writer
President Reagan nominated Robert H. Bork, a conservative federal appellate judge, to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, describing him as "the most prominent and intellectually powerful advocate of judicial restraint." The 60-year-old judge faces a difficult and prolonged confirmation fight in the Senate, but his eventual approval does not appear in doubt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 1999 | DOUGLAS W. KMIEC, Douglas W. Kmiec is a professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court took up the issue of tobacco regulation. In 1996, the Food and Drug Administration, after a half-century of declining jurisdiction, asserted authority over tobacco products. The industry balked, arguing that it was too late in the day for the agency to act. In any event, said Big Tobacco, the FDA is only given authority over "drugs" that are "intended to affect the structure or function of the body," and we only "intend" our products for "smoking pleasure."
OPINION
September 6, 2005 | Edward Whelan, EDWARD WHELAN, a former law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia and a former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, is president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
THE DEATH OF Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and President Bush's nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to succeed him have led to a brief delay in the opening of Roberts' confirmation hearings -- and Democrats are using the occasion to demand more of Roberts' legal records. But the Senate Judiciary Committee has an ample record on which to proceed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 1987
What Bork defines as judicial restraint is in reality judicial irresponsibility! The original intent of the framers was for the Court to uphold individual liberty; Bork's intent is to pass the buck to the executive and legislature. His appointment would certainly upset the delicate checks and balances the framers intended. Regardless of their political views, the Senate should not permit Bork to enact his personal agenda for the repeal of American liberties. If we must have a conservative appointee, let it be one who truly wishes to conserve, not destroy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 1989
I usually find your timely articles covering the U.S. Supreme Court accurate and insightful. Unfortunately, your front-page headline, "Rehnquist Gavels an End to Era of Judicial Activism," and accompanying article are somewhat misleading (July 7). The Rehnquist court like its predecessors practices judicial restraint selectively. This means that the court is much more activist than the impression given by your article. Contrary to reporters David Savage and David Lauter, the judicial activism of the Rehnquist court is not primarily limited to the flag burning and other First Amendment cases.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 1993 | DAVID KAIRYS, David Kairys is a law professor at Temple University and the author of "With Liberty and Justice for Some" (New Press, 1993) from which this article is excerpted. and
The confirmation hearing on the nomination of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court focused on her decisions in some controversial areas and on whether she is a "judicial activist." The prevailing mindset about courts and judges--usually capsulized in the phrase "judicial restraint"--rejects judicial intervention without strictly construed authority and emphasizes democracy, the rule of law and decision-making driven by legal rather than political methods.
OPINION
March 27, 2012 | By Michael Kinsley
Supreme Court justices, like anyone else, sometimes change their minds. True, there is stare decisis , the principle that they shouldn't change their minds too often. Reason: If you expect citizens and the government to obey the law, they need to know what the law is and will be. Also, it's only fair to treat people in similar situations similarly. But stare decisis is not a hard-and-fast rule. There have been some famous changes of heart and/or mind, such as Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)
OPINION
November 9, 2011
When our youngest son was born in Jerusalem in 1995, a number of questions faced us. First was whether we should accept Israeli citizenship for him, which would grant him a second passport and the ability to work (and take refuge, if necessary) in a foreign land — but which would come with a military service requirement in a country that wouldn't really be his home. We opted against it. Then there was the less pressing question of whether our newborn son could become president of the United States despite some ambiguity about whether he was a "natural-born citizen," as required by Article II of the U.S. Constitution.
NATIONAL
July 16, 2009 | Carol J. Williams
Sonia Sotomayor deftly dodged conservative senators' efforts to pin her down on her "judicial philosophy" on issues like abortion and gun control Wednesday, leaving those on both sides of the issues frustrated, said legal experts following the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. But her restraint drew praise from some as evidence that she is a moderate judge who will decide cases on the facts, not preconceived opinions.
OPINION
February 9, 2009
Re "Too easy to amend," Opinion, Feb. 4 The authors' point, that it should be harder for voters to amend the California Constitution, has merit -- as long as we also make it harder for judges to "amend" the Constitution too. Essentially, that's what happened last May, when four justices decided that same-sex marriage suddenly became a basic constitutional right. Even those who agree with that decision should understand that it should not be easy for judges to change the meaning of the Constitution.
OPINION
November 5, 2005
Re "Judge's Supporters, Foes See Much in One Dissent," Nov. 1 I'm a Democrat, but I cheer the nomination of federal appellate Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court. Both sides base much of their evaluation of his abortion stance on his dissenting opinion in a decision that overruled a Pennsylvania law requiring a woman to notify her spouse before having an abortion. Alito's dissent resulted not from his philosophy about abortion but from his philosophy about judicial limits.
OPINION
November 2, 2005
Re "Conservatives Cheer Court Nominee," Nov. 1 Never has there been so much celebration over a nominee to the bench. This alone should send up a red flag. The fact that conservatives are preening and slapping each other on the back proves they believe federal appeals court Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. will actively advance a certain agenda. What happened to judicial restraint? The discussion on this nomination is not about any narrow issue. Democrats and uneasy Republicans must move toward the greater issue of an activist Supreme Court that advances the views of a particular constituency versus a court that respects the law of the land.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 1985
Given his misrepresentation of Chief Justice John Marshall's judicial style as a form of judicial restraint, it is difficult to believe that Gary L. McDowell (Letters, Nov. 19) is an associate director of the Office of Public Affairs in the Justice Department. As your editorial (Oct. 16) correctly noted, the liberal Justice William J. Brennan Jr. is a jurisprudential descendant of the great conservative Chief Justice John Marshall. Brennan like Marshall is a judicial activist. Marshall wrote many landmark opinions which broadly interpreted the Constitution in line with his conservative Federalist values.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 1987
Think of the grief the Reagan Administration might have spared itself if the President had nominated Judge Arthur M. Kennedy of Sacramento to the Supreme Court in the first place. In spite of early reservations of extreme right-wingers such as Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), Kennedy appears to meet the President's test of a conservative jurist who believes in judicial restraint and strict interpretation of the Constitution.
BOOKS
October 23, 2005 | Jeffrey Rosen, Jeffrey Rosen is a law professor at George Washington University and legal affairs editor of the New Republic. He is the author of "The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age" and the forthcoming book "The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America."
EVER since Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her intention to retire from the U.S. Supreme Court, Democrats have hailed the former Republican legislator from Arizona as a paragon of pragmatism and moderation. Now that President Bush's controversial choice to replace O'Connor is prepping for a November confirmation fight, senators from both parties are wondering openly whether Harriet E. Miers would be a lawyerly pragmatist in the O'Connor mold or a conservative ideologue in disguise.
OPINION
September 6, 2005 | Edward Whelan, EDWARD WHELAN, a former law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia and a former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, is president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
THE DEATH OF Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and President Bush's nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to succeed him have led to a brief delay in the opening of Roberts' confirmation hearings -- and Democrats are using the occasion to demand more of Roberts' legal records. But the Senate Judiciary Committee has an ample record on which to proceed.
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