What is Judicial Activism? A Debate on Legal and Political Philosophy

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What is Judicial Activism? A Debate on Legal and Political Philosophy by Waller, Jason; Sterling, Grant, 9781441180407
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  • ISBN: 9781441180407 | 1441180400
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 3/18/2027

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A two-voice debate, this work offers a dispassionate discussion of the nature of judicial activism. Looking at what constitutes an "activist decision" - when a judge rules more in accordance with personal and political convictions than the law - this unique conversation delves into what exactly is judicial activism and why it is illegitimate. The two authors, one conservative and one liberal, seek to determine what is the scope of the legitimate discretion that judges have when deciding cases. After summarizing the controversy surrounding judicial activism, they look at this issue in relation to specific aspects of the law, including the use of moral principles, the purpose of the law, the interpretation of statutes, or the constitutionality of statutes. Each chapter begins with a question followed by non-polemical critiques and alternative answers. Arguments by key thinkers (Dworkin, Scalia) are also introduced and critiqued throughout the work. This balanced, non-technical treatment of a key issue in today's political debate will be an excellent introductory text for anyone studying American politics and political theory.

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