Judicial Activism

The left in this country and in Florida cannot and will not succeed in establishing their liberal, anti-family agenda without activist judges–judges who legislate from the bench and force their social agenda on the American people. Liberals have failed to get their agenda passed through elected bodies of government that are accountable to real people who have families and vote their values. Whether the issue is abortion, gay marriage, the pledge of allegiance, religious liberty or property rights issues, liberals must rely upon the activist judges who are seeking radical social change through the unconstitutional use of raw judicial power.

Talking Points and Basic Information

1. Iowans Fire Justices Who Redefined Marriage
November 3, 2010
By Bruce Hausknecht
In 2009 the Iowa Supreme Court discovered the right to same-sex marriage in the state constitution and imposed it upon the people of that state by a vote of 7-0 in the case of Varnum v. Brien.
The citizens of Iowa didn’t like that much.

2. Charge of ‘Judicial Activism’ in Healthcare Ruling Over the Top
February 2, 2011
By Bruce Hausknecht
Citizen Link
The editorial board of the New York Times can be relied on to advance outlandish claims against conservatives on most days, and they’ve risen to the occasion once again with their latest criticism of the recent judicial opinion by Judge Roger Vinson in the health care lawsuit brought by 26 states. Entitled “Judicial Activism on Health Reform”, the first claim right out of the chute is this one: A ruling by a Federal District Court judge in Florida that the entire health care reform law is unconstitutional was a breathtaking example of judicial activism and overreach.

3. Prop 8 Judge Not Feeling the Love from Supreme Court
January 20, 2011
By Bruce Hausknecht
Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the senior judge of the 3-judge 9th Circuit panel that is currently hearing the Prop 8 appeal in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, is starting this week. In two separate appeals in capital punishment cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, Reinhardt’s 9th Circuit opinions were unanimously reversed (8-0, with Kagan recused) in language that accused him (and his 2 other colleagues, to be fair) of “judicial disregard”.

4. Q&A – Judicial Activism
By Bruce Hausknecht
Citizen Link
“Judicial activism” is the term used to describe the actions of judges who go beyond their constitutionally prescribed duties of applying law to the facts of individual cases, and “legislate” from the bench.

5. In Judicial Appointments, Politics Is No Match for the Constitution
By Peter Sprigg
The debate is not about whose policy preferences will be enshrined into law. It is about whether it is even the role of the courts to make policy decisions. It`s not about the purposes for which the vast power of the Supreme Court should be used.

6. Judicial Philosophy
By Focus on the Family
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay wrote a set of 85 essays known as the Federalist Papers between October 1787 and August 1788. Their purpose? To explain and advocate for the ratification of the newly-proposed U.S. Constitution, drafted during the summer of 1787 at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention. Several of those essays dealt with Article III of the Constitution concerning the powers and duties of the federal judiciary.

7. Talking Points on Judicial Philosophy
By Focus on the Family

8. The ‘Judicial Activism’ Ploy
By Thomas Sowell
National Review Online
Now that two different federal courts have declared Obamacare unconstitutional, the administration’s answer is to call the courts guilty of “judicial activism.”

9. Bad Turn for the Unborn
By Zachary Gappa
Center for a Just Society

10. Judicial Activism and the Threat to the Constitution
Family Research Council
When judges exercising the power of judicial review permit themselves to be guided by the text, logic, structure, and original understanding of the Constitution, they deserve our respect and, indeed, our gratitude for playing their part to make constitutional republican government a reality. But where judges usurp democratic legislative authority by imposing on the people their moral and political preferences under the guise of vindicating constitutional guarantees, they should be severely criticized and resolutely opposed.

11. Assessing Judge Sonia Sotomayor Before Her Confirmation Hearing
By Christopher M. Gacek, Cathy Cleaver Ruse, and Michael Fragoso
Family Research Council
[W]hat has come to light in recent months about her record shows this supposed empathy to be a mask for deciding winners and losers based upon political ideology rather than the principle of equal justice for all. It does not include empathy for unborn children, for white and Latino firefighters from New Haven, for property owners who have their land taken from them by greedy towns, or for Americans who believe in their right to established Second Amendment freedoms. In Judge Sotomayor’s world, “empathy” is only owed to groups or classes favored by the political Left. In Judge Sotomayor’s world, “empathy” is an excuse for bias.

Comprehensive Research and Articles

1. Five Judicial Myths: Talking Points About the Judiciary
By David Barton
The Judiciary is not a co-equal branch of government.

2. The “Activist” Journey of the Florida Supreme Court
By Colleen Pero
This study of the Florida Supreme Court was prepared as a result of several controversial rulings by the Court in recent years. The cases discussed here provide an alarming insight of how judicial activism can undermine legislative intent and compromise the separation of powers inherent in our constitutional form of government.

3. `Merely Judgment` America`s Courts are not above public criticism
October 8, 2006
By William H. Pryor, Jr
Virginia Law Review

4. Judicial Dissonance: An Analysis of Judicial Activism
By Matthew P. Cohen
Southwestern University School of Law
This comment will examine the debate over judicial activism with a particular focus on commentary spawned from the recent U.S. Supreme Court and California Supreme Court decisions, as well as Bush v. Gore

5. The Senate Is Supposed to Advise And Consent, Not Obstruct and Delay
By John C. Eastman and Timothy Sandefur
The Senate`s confirmation power therefore acts only as a relatively minor check on the President`s authority — it exists only to prevent the President from selecting a nominee who “does not possess due qualifications for office.”

6. A Tale of Two Constitutions
October 1, 2004
By David Barton

7. Natural Law, the Constitution, and Judicial Review
By Robert P. George
Fordham Law Review
The concept of “natural law” is central to the Western tradition of thought about morality, politics, and law.

8. Witherspoon Lecture
Family Research Council
The concept of “natural law” is central to the Western tradition of thought about morality, politics, and law. Although the Western tradition is not united around a single theoretical account of natural law, its principal architects and leading spokesmen–from Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King–have shared a fundamental belief that humanly created “positive” law is morally good or bad–just or unjust–depending on its conformity to the standards of a “natural” (viz., moral) law that is no mere human creation.

9. Why “Natural Law” Still Matters for Conservatives
By Rob Schwarzwalder
Family Research Council
In 1765, the then young John Adams wrote a brilliant article called, imposingly, “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law.” He argued that the rights of man exist, “undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government — Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws — Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe.”

Websites, Books and Additional Information

1. Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America
By Mark Levin
Conservative talk radio host, lawyer, and frequent National Review contributor Mark R. Levin comes out firing against the United States Supreme Court in Men in Black, accusing the institution of corrupting the ideals of America’s founding fathers. The court, in Levin’s estimation, pursues an ideology-based activist agenda that oversteps its authority within the government.

2. Moral Argument in Modern Times: A Conversation with Robert P. George
January 24, 2011
By Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
This is “Thinking in Public”, a program dedicated to intelligent conversation about front line theological and cultural issues with the people who are shaping them. I’m Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., your host, and President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

3. Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage [Hardcover]
By Peter Sprigg
For all of recorded history, marriage has meant the uniting of a man and a woman for purposes of raising a family. That’s a bedrock American value, and bedrock American law-and has been for the entire history of our country. But now liberal judges are cooperating with homosexual activists to overturn existing law on marriage, to deny the power of elected legislatures to regulate marriage, and to forbid the will of the people on defining marriage.

4. Why Do Supreme Court Justices Shift Leftward?
January 12, 2006
By Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Authors Jon D. Hanson and Adam Benforado argue that structural, intellectual, and social factors all play a part in the leftward drift evident in so many justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Their argument appears in “The Drifters: Why the Supreme Court Makes Justices More Liberal,” published in the January/February 2006 issue of the Boston Review.

5. Restraining Judicial Activism
By David Barton
This enlightening book addresses the crisis of judicial activism in today’s government, revealing an overlooked Constitutional provision: impeachment, the recourse prescribed by the Founders for an unaccountable judiciary. Learn how to recognize judicial activism and reinstate judicial accountability.

6. The Role of the Courts
The Heritage Foundation
August 17th, 2010

7. Restore Justice 2012
Judicial activism is a problem throughout America, and it’s a very serious problem here in Florida. In fact, the American Justice Partnership said Florida has one of the most activist court systems in the nation.