14
Sep
2005

Why they legislate "from the bench"

Christian Science Monitor
by Martin Mayer

09/13/05

President Bush, in nominating John Roberts to be chief justice of the US -- along with conservative senators questioning him during his ongoing judiciary committee hearings -- insists that if confirmed, Mr. Roberts will not 'legislate from the bench.' From within the court, Justice Antonin Scalia has complained that the common-law tradition leaves judges too free to make a decision that pleases them and then hunt up prior cases or evidence of 'legislative intent' that can be interpreted to support their position. Such judicial arrogance, Justice Scalia argues, leaves us an uncertain law different from the language in the statute book and tainted by the political preferences of judges. Protection against such 'activism' can be won by insisting that statutes be enforced precisely as written, what Scalia calls 'textualism'...

//www.csmonitor.com/2005/0913/p08s02-coop.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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