judicial activism vs. judicial restraint

488 Words2 Pages
The Greatest Debate of American history concerns the mysterious, and least understood branch of the United States government: The Supreme Court. The differences between those who favor activism and those who favor restraint are all apart of the biggest riff in our justice system since the beginning of the nation. Conservatives, or those who favor Judicial Restraint, believe the original intent of the founding fathers is (written in stone and it is not our responsibility to change such a great document) suitable for all generations, past, present, and future. These people believe that they have the power to interpret the founding fathers, so they have the power to manipulate the law, and power such as that should only rest in the hands of the executive and legislative branches. On the other hand, the liberals, or Judicial Activists, believe that the founding fathers recognized that standards of their time wouldn’t apply to the future, so therefore left the constitution broadly based and available for contemporary interpretation. In my opinion, as in many others, Judicial Activism is just an excuse for justices to rule based on personal opinion. The judicial branch of the government needs to show judicial restraint because of the variety of the cases they receive. They need to make sure that the rulings they enact are rulings that follow the constitution and not their own personal beliefs as they have been doing for some time now. In my opinion, the most important example of judicial restraint being in need in American history occurred on May 20, 1940. On this date, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its infamous Cantwell v. Connecticut decision. The Cantwell decision has affected our lives in a very big way. In a nutshell, the U.S. Supreme Court illegally seized control of religious freedom in the United States through the Cantwell decision. As a result of this case,
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