Justice O’Conner on “Activist Judges”
Like a lot of meaningless political catch-phrases, “Activist Judges” is a way of swaying large numbers of people without much danger of unauthorized thinking. It pretty much means; “a judge who made a decision that I don’t like”. It is a corruption of political discourse, and reflects a misunderstanding of what judges do. Briefly, judges represent the constitution, not the people. They are there to hold lawmakers and the president to a constitutional standard.
Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Conner has some insights on the constitutional importance of an independent judiciary. Specifically she ain’t happy about the implications of the phrase “activist judges”. Though of course, she would never use the word ‘ain’t’.