Alright, everyone. Apparently many of you need my help here, so I’m going to put it in simple terms: Activist judges are not liberal or conservative. They are imaginary.
Some people in politics, particularly conservatives in the media’s light, are railing against ’activist judges’ with phrases like this one:
“Ideologically driven courts have disregarded and dismissed the president’s evaluations of foreign policy concerns, in favor of theories generated by academic elites, foreign bodies and judicial imagination,” Ashcroft said.
I will translate. What he’s saying is that he’d rather have judges that agree with him and the current administration, than with someone else. Notice the lack of specific examples.
That’s because they are made up. Activist judges do not exist or rather, all judges have these qualities and therefore the term ’activist’ is just a way to demonized a judge for making a decision. The definition of ’activist judge’ is actually the definition of ’a judge that disagrees with the person criticizing them,’ since judges have been interpreting and therefore determining laws since, well, there have been judges.
If someone tells you that the current liberally-oriented judges are trying to push their agendas on the American people/government/legal system, ask them this: “So, that means conservative judges won’t push their own agendas by trying to change the course of the Supreme Court’s rulings?”
In fact, I challenge you to find me a single conservative that writes about activist judges who are defending a conservative cause. You won’t. Because, as I said before: Activist judges don’t exist!
For those of you that have seen the light, or were never in the dark in the first place, I’m providing these handy DIY bumper stickers/window banners in handy PDF format, which you can download by clicking the sticker of your choice, then print and trim.
A direct message, for these troubled times:
A snarkier version, for these troubled times:
In practice I think you’re right, but the concept of an ‘activist judge’ actually does make sense. Whenever you think that the courts have stepped outside the bounds of what precedent and statute allowed them to do, you can call them activists. Now, like I said: in practice, this is a phrase used by Republicans solely to attack those with whom they disagree, and thereby undermine respect for the judiciary. But there’s actually a valid concept hiding under there.
While I agree with you in theory, it’s probably important for me to point out that I believe the more media-licious of the Republican party have essentially bled this phrase dry of any real meaning, kind of like the word ’synergy’. Also, this isn’t really about the ’reality-based community’ (of which you and I are part), it’s about all of the slack-jawed talk-boxes out there who act as hollow echo chambers for ludicrous pseudo-political spin babble, for whom reality is a point of view which can be chosen, or discarded for the convenience of ’The Truth’, which is also chosen or discarded, but comes with the added bonus of acting like a self-righteous prick.
But your point is taken.
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