PDA

View Full Version : Legal Who are the "judicial activists?"


oldandslow
05-28-2009, 10:58 AM
I found this really interesting...

Yale Law Professor Paul Gewirtz and Yale grad Chad Golder, reviewed Supreme Court rulings from 1994-2005. In this period, the Court either struck down or upheld Congressional statutes (or provisions of those statutes) in 64 cases:

We found that justices vary widely in their inclination to strike down Congressional laws. Justice Clarence Thomas, appointed by President George H. W. Bush, was the most inclined, voting to invalidate 65.63 percent of those laws; Justice Stephen Breyer, appointed by President Bill Clinton, was the least, voting to invalidate 28.13 percent. The tally for all the justices appears below.

Thomas 65.63%
Kennedy 64.06%
Scalia 56.25%
Rehnquist 46.88%
O’Connor 46.77%
Souter 42.19%
Stevens 39.34%
Ginsburg 39.06%
Breyer 28.13%

One conclusion our data suggests is that those justices often considered more "liberal" - Justices Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and John Paul Stevens - vote least frequently to overturn Congressional statutes, while those often labeled "conservative" vote more frequently to do so. At least by this measure (others are possible, of course), the latter group is the most activist.