Research Project: Judicial activism and Judicial restraint

Research Project: Judicial activism and Judicial restraint

Research Project: Judicial activism and Judicial restraint

Judicial philosophy can be described as the way that a judge cognizes and interprets the law (Reviews, 2013). Even though laws are universal, they should be applied to specific cases with unique conditions. To conduct this, the law is interpreted by judges, who determine its meaning and at times the intention of people who wrote it. Among the major types of judicial philosophies is judicial activism vs. judicial restraint. A number of judges develop an activism philosophy, using a panel to enact political and social change. Other judges use restraint philosophy, believing that judges should interpret the law firmly instead of pursuing to create new laws. In addition, all judges, irrespective of their philosophies, foster their own techniques of interpreting the Constitution (Reviews, 2013). A majority of strict constructionists, for instance, are also judicial restraint advocates, but not all.

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On the contrary, judicial restraint is a judicial interpretation theory that motivates judges to regulate the exercise of the power they possess. The paper presents the various differences between the two philosophies, for instance, their difference in goals/objectives. The last segment of this paper provides a line of reasoning in favor of judicial activism. In support this philosophy, its advocates put forward that it is much healthier for the constitutional democracy if they make mistakes on the activism’s side, smacking down too many regulations instead of too few. The additional arguments presented shed light on why judicial activism is more preferable.

Lee, E. T. (2011). Judicial restraint in America: How the ageless wisdom of the federal courts was invented. New York: Oxford University Press.

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