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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

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Decision Date Court Types of activism
Atkins v. Virginia 06/20/2002 Supreme Court Importing Foreign Law, Judicial Imperialism, Living Constitutionalism
Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce 03/27/1990 Supreme Court Playing Legislator
Baker v. Carr 03/26/1962 Supreme Court Judicial Imperialism
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
Cooper v. Aaron 09/12/1958 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Judicial Imperialism
Dabit v. Merrill Lynch 01/11/2005 Second Circuit Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Doe v. Bolton 01/22/1973 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
Everson v. Board of Ed. of Ewing Tp. 02/10/1947 Supreme Court Contorting Text
Fierro v. Gomez 02/21/1996 Ninth Circuit Living Constitutionalism, Playing Favorites
Flast v. Cohen 06/10/1968 Supreme Court Judicial Imperialism, Playing Legislator
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
Griswold v. Connecticut 06/07/1965 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism, Playing Legislator
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
Hill v. Colorado 06/28/2000 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Nullifying Rights
Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell 01/08/1934 Supreme Court Contorting Text, Nullifying Rights
Hudson v. McMillian 02/25/1992 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
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
Kennedy v. Louisiana 06/25/2008 Supreme Court Judicial Imperialism, Living Constitutionalism
Lawrence v. Texas 06/26/2003 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism, Playing Favorites
Lemon v. Kurtzman 06/28/1971 Supreme Court Playing Legislator
Malesko v. Correctional Services Corp. 10/06/2000 Second Circuit Abusing Precedent
Maloney v. Cuomo 01/28/2009 Second Circuit Abusing Precedent, Nullifying Rights
Mapp v. Ohio 06/19/1961 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Playing Legislator
Missouri v. Jenkins 04/18/1990 Supreme Court Judicial Imperialism, Playing Legislator
Morrison v. Olson 06/29/1988 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Contorting Text
Planned Parenthood v. Casey 06/29/1992 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Judicial Imperialism, Living Constitutionalism
Rasul v. Bush 06/28/2004 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Judicial Imperialism, Playing Legislator
Reynolds v. Sims 06/15/1964 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent, Living Constitutionalism
Ricci v. DeStefano 06/13/2008 Second Circuit Contorting Text, Judicial Dishonesty
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
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
Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut 12/10/1986 Supreme Court Abusing Precedent
Thompson v. Oklahoma 06/29/1988 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
Trop v. Dulles 03/31/1958 Supreme Court Living Constitutionalism
United States v. Bad Marriage 12/30/2004 Ninth Circuit Playing Favorites
United States v. SCRAP 06/18/1973 Supreme Court Judicial Imperialism
United States v. Virginia 06/26/1996 Supreme Court Playing Legislator
United Steelworkers v. Weber 06/27/1979 Supreme Court Contorting Text
Weeks v. United States 02/24/1914 Supreme Court Playing Legislator
Wickard v. Filburn 11/09/1942 Supreme Court Contorting Text