Judicial Activism Vs Judicial Restraint

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Judicial activism and judicial restraint are two aspects of judicial review that regard the strength the United States Supreme Court has in policy making. Judicial activism is when the Court takes part in changing policy. Judicial restraint is when the Court chooses to only interpret and not make or significantly change the law. Judicial activism can be perceived as the Court overreaching its power and letting personal considerations influence judgment, where judicial restraint is the Court acknowledging its role in the separation of powers in government and policy making. The Court displays use of judicial activism in several ways. The Court can disregard precedent, reverse acts of Congress, and reinterpret the United States Constitution. Judicial activism can be used to strike down laws that are unconstitutional as well as keeping up-to-date with the needs of society. A literal reading of the Constitution or an older case used as precedent may no longer fit the present legal needs of a changing society; therefore judicial activism can be used by the justices to apply and interpret the law as it fits the present day. The Court…show more content…
In the case of United States v. Lopez a twelfth grader named Alfonso Lopez carried a concealed weapon onto the grounds of his Texas high school. Texas law at the time forbade the carrying of firearms on school property, additionally Lopez was charged with violating the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 . The focus of this case was whether or not Congress had the right to control commerce, precisely the possession and sale of guns, which could possibly lead to violent crime. The Supreme Court ruled that Congress did not have the right to control this sort of commerce. The decision in Heller upheld the decision that certain laws against gun ownership and commerce are not in the power of Congress to set severe restrictions

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