The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions (Google eBook)

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Yale University Press, Jan 1, 2008 - Law - 273 pages
1 Review
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.

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

User Review  - Vanessa - Goodreads

In a few instances it feels like the author is overstating his case, but this is a really readable, clear-eyed analysis of some of the noise and spin surrounding the Supreme Court lately. Also just a ... Read full review


Part II Easy Cases
Part III Hard Cases
Part IV Illegitimacy
Part V Striking the Balance

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About the author (2008)

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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