7/06/2005

activist

There are a number of things one may OBJECTIVELY say about a supreme court decision, in addition to saying things that just indicate whether one is in favor or against the decision.

1) Constitutionist -- e.g. Pro: if the decision overturns the law because of the constitution, Anti: if the law is upheld despite the constitutional challenge. -- Note: In general this is also Anti/Pro originist and often is the definition of Pro/Anti Activist.

2) Federalist -- e.g. Pro: if the state law or practice is supported. Anti: if the decision strikes down a state law because of a federal law, or federal constitutional condition.

3) Simplicity -- e.g. Pro: if the decision stated the results so that it is easier to decide similar cases or not: e.g. Anti: the decision seems to "split the difference" so that another set of cases seem to be required to determine where the "boundary" is.

4) Corporate Economic -- Pro: If the decision is for regulations that help business or against regulations that limit business, Anti: If eliminates business supports or supports regulations that limit business.

5) Social control -- Pro: If the decision supports laws that control the activity of an individual, Anti: if the decision supports controlling laws.

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Flag Phrases. The following, I consider, not objective but "Flag Phrases", in that the generally are looked at as good, but tend to be subjectively judged by a person as satisfied by decisions.

a) Originist -- If the decision is what the framers of the constitution clearly stated (or meant), though if it was clear, then one wonders why anyone would think that the Supreme court, or any other court would oppose it.

b) Activist -- If the decision is overturning a law as being against the constitution. Note: This might also be considered Constitutional Extension, e.g. if the law makers really thought the constitution was opposed to the law, they might not have passed it.

. See: So Who Are the Activists? {e.g. Constitutionist) (nyt), and DalyKos
    {C} Thomas 65.63 %
    {C} Kennedy 64.06 %
    {C} Scalia 56.25 %
    {C} Rehnquist 46.88 %
    {?} O'Connor 46.77 %
    {L} Souter 42.19 %
    {L} Stevens 39.34 %
    {L} Ginsburg 39.06 %
    {L} Breyer 28.13 %

    . Key: {C} Conservative, {L} Liberal
I look forward to any other objective classifications for decisions.
Also see:

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