· Debates continue regarding what constitutes an appropriate role for the judiciary. Some argue that federal judges have become too powerful and that judges “legislate from the bench.”
1. What does it mean for a judge to be an activist?
2. What does it mean for a judge to be a restrainist?
· Although conservatives had long complained about the activism of liberal justices and judges, in recent years conservative judges and justices have been likely to overturn precedents and question the power of elected institutions of government.
3. When is judicial activism appropriate? Explain.
· To defenders of the right to privacy, it is implicitly embodied in the Constitution in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. To opponents, it is judge-made law because there is no explicit reference to it under the Constitution. The right to privacy dates back to at least 1890, when Boston attorneys Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis equated it with the right to be left alone from journalists who engaged in yellow journalism.
4. In short, do you believe a right to privacy exists in the federal Constitution. Why or why not?