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Judicial Activism

Judicial activism occurs when judges write subjective policy preferences into the law rather than apply the law impartially according to its original meaning. As such, activism does not mean the mere act of striking down a law.

Cases of Judicial Activism

  • Contorting Text

Contorting Text

Judges strain the plain text to achieve their apparent desired ends, bending terms to the point of breaking.

Decision Date Court Types of activism
Dabit v. Merrill Lynch 01/11/2005 Second Circuit Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Everson v. Board of Ed. of Ewing Tp. 02/10/1947 Supreme Court Contorting Text
Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority 02/19/1985 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Gonzales v. Raich 06/06/2005 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld 06/29/2006 Supreme Court Contorting Text, Judicial Imperialism, Playing Legislator
Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff 05/30/1984 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text, Nullifying Rights
Hayden v. Pataki 04/04/2006 Second Circuit Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell 01/08/1934 Supreme Court Contorting Text, Nullifying Rights
Humphrey's Executor v. United States 05/27/1935 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Hunter ex rel. Brandt v. The Regents of the University of California 09/09/1999 Ninth Circuit Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text, Playing Legislator
Katzenbach v. McClung 12/14/1964 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Kelo v. City of New London, Conn. 06/23/2005 Second Circuit Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Morrison v. Olson 06/29/1988 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Ricci v. DeStefano 06/13/2008 Second Circuit Contorting Text, Judicial Dishonesty
Silveira v. Lockyer 12/05/2002 Ninth Circuit Contorting Text, Nullifying Rights
The Slaughterhouse Cases 04/14/1873 Supreme Court Contorting Text, Nullifying Rights
Southwest Voter Registration Education Project v. Shelley 09/15/2003 Ninth Circuit Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text, Judicial Imperialism
United Steelworkers v. Weber 06/27/1979 Supreme Court Contorting Text
Wickard v. Filburn 11/09/1942 Supreme Court Contorting Text