Alito: Unacceptably Mainstream

Thursday's Editorial - January 26, 2006


To be able to form your own opinion on this issue, you must understand what the Supreme Court controversy is all about.

Read the following three paragraphs that explain the difference in the opposing views on the role of a judge:
The term "judicial restraint" refers to the idea that the role of a judge is not to make policy or establish new legal rights, but to interpret the law as written in the United States Constitution or in statutes passed by the legislature. Because the will of the people is best expressed through legislative bodies, judges must strive to adhere to the law as written even if, at times, the law is insufficient to deal with certain circumstances or conflicts with the judge's personal political views.

"Judicial activism," by contrast, refers to results-oriented judging, whereby a judge decides the outcome of a case based not on the law as written, but on his or her conception of what is just or fair. "Judicial activism" is often improperly confused with the power of "judicial review," which is the power of the judiciary to invalidate statutes that are in conflict with the United States Constitution. The fact that a judge frequently invalidates unconstitutional laws may make him "active" in the dictionary sense of the term, but it does not necessarily make him a "judicial activist." To the contrary, a "judicial activist" is a judge who creates new rights not expressly granted by the Constitution or by statute or who invalidates laws, not because they conflict with express textual mandates, but because the judge views them as bad public policy.

Although the term "judicial restraint" is often associated with political conservatism, and "judicial activism" often associated with political liberalism, they are not properly categorized as such. "Judicial restraint" and "judicial activism" refer to the process or method a judge uses to reach a particular decision, not to the political ramifications of that decision. Political liberals and political conservatives are, at least theoretically, equally capable of exercising restraint on the bench. By the same token, judicial activists may use their authority to achieve either conservative or liberal results. As such, the terms "judicial restraint" and "judicial activism" are neither inherently "conservative" nor inherently "liberal."
From "A Primer on Judicial Restraint..." found at (link is no longer active)

The main idea of David Limbaugh's commentary is that the critics of Samuel Alito do not agree with the role of the judiciary established by the U.S. Constitution (under such, a judge should practice JUDICIAL RESTRAINT).  Rather the critics favor a politically liberal judge who practices JUDICIAL ACTIVISM.

QUESTION:  With which of the following points made by David Limbaugh do you agree?  Explain your answers.