The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions

January 24, 2008|
The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions by Kermit Roosevelt
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Can the Constitution change with the times without forsaking the framers’ original intent?

This carefully considered book is a welcome addition to the debate over “judicial activism.” Constitutional scholar Kermit Roosevelt III offers an elegantly simple way to resolve the heated discord between conservatives, who argue that the Constitution is immutable, and progressives, who insist that it is a living document that must be reinterpreted in new cultural contexts so that its meaning evolves. Roosevelt uses plain language and compelling examples to explain how the Constitution can be both a constant and an organic document. Recent years have witnessed an increasing drumbeat of complaints about judicial behavior, focusing particularly on Supreme Court decisions that critics charge are reflections of the Justices’ political preferences rather than enforcement of the Constitution. The author takes a balanced look at these controversial decisions through a compelling new lens of constitutional interpretation. He clarifies the task of the Supreme Court in constitutional cases, then sets out a model to describe how the Court creates doctrine to implement the meaning of the Constitution. Finally, Roosevelt uses this model to show which decisions can be justified as legitimate and which cannot.
Kermit Roosevelt III is professor of law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and author of the novel In the Shadow of the Law. He lives in Philadelphia.
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Title:The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions
Format:Paperback
Product dimensions:272 pages, 8.25 X 5.5 X 0.68 in
Shipping dimensions:272 pages, 8.25 X 5.5 X 0.68 in
Published:January 24, 2008
Publisher:Yale University Press
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780300126914

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