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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

  • Living Constitutionalism

Living Constitutionalism

Judges rely on the so-called Living Constitution to make the Constitution comport with their self-described enlightened sensibilities.

Decision Date Court Types of activism
Atkins v. Virginia 06/20/2002 Supreme Court Importing Foreign Law, Judicial Imperialism, Living Constitutionalism
BMW v. Gore 05/20/1996 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism, Playing Legislator
Compassion in Dying v. State of Washington 05/28/1996 Ninth Circuit Living Constitutionalism
Doe v. Bolton 01/22/1973 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
Fierro v. Gomez 02/21/1996 Ninth Circuit Living Constitutionalism, Playing Favorites
Griswold v. Connecticut 06/07/1965 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism, Playing Legislator
Hudson v. McMillian 02/25/1992 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
Kennedy v. Louisiana 06/25/2008 Supreme Court Judicial Imperialism, Living Constitutionalism
Lawrence v. Texas 06/26/2003 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism, Playing Favorites
Planned Parenthood v. Casey 06/29/1992 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Judicial Imperialism, Living Constitutionalism
Reynolds v. Sims 06/15/1964 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Living Constitutionalism
Roe v. Wade 01/22/1973 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
Romer v. Evans 05/20/1996 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
Roper v. Simmons 03/01/2005 Supreme Court Importing Foreign Law, Living Constitutionalism, Playing Legislator
Saenz v. Roe 05/17/1999 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
Thompson v. Oklahoma 06/29/1988 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
Trop v. Dulles 03/31/1958 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism