February 12, 2006

Judicial Activism Defined

Conservatives have long decried the "judicial activism" practiced by liberal jurists. Recently, however, liberals have started using the term to describe decisions they don't like, such as some of the Rehnquist Court's federalism decisions. While this imitation is actually a positive sign – as I explained in an NRO piece last fall – it is important that we not allow the definition of "judicial activism" to be so distorted that it no longer serves to identify the ill we are trying to eradicate, namely judges who put their personal views above the rule of law. Thanks to Roger Clegg for clarifying the definition in a Q&A he wrote for CFJ.