George F. Will: Conservatives should abandon judicial restraint

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  • EJM Herriman, UT
    June 19, 2012 11:51 p.m.

    George Will is on the money. Too bad many conservatives are going to be ticked off for him telling the truth.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 18, 2012 6:57 a.m.

    Legally speaking a courts primary responsibility is to uphold the constitution, not the law (passed by a democratically elected majority), this means that on occasion a court ought to strike down a law created by a congress or a legislature. Next a courts responsibility is to uphold the law.

    Many would argue (including me) that an even higher responsibility of a court is to uphold justice. Which in essence is an eternal law of the universe, or of God. For example .. a judge who during the days of slavery, who had the opportunity to free a slave (illegally and unconstutionally) would still be right in doing it.

    This would be defined by some as judicial activism, and so it is and so be it.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 17, 2012 8:20 p.m.

    This is too funny.

    First, call them what you want, economic rights ARE inferior to more "fundamental" rights such as speech, association, etc.

    Second, Judicial restraint is "pernicious"? Mr. Will’s opinion might change if President Obama is reelected and a liberal court majority installed.

    But seriously, for the republic to function, there must be some degree of continuity. If we have no judicial restraint and each generation of justices feels completely able to rewrite the last set’s rulings, there will be no continuity and the rule of law will start to look a lot more like the political flavor of the month..

    Does judicial restraint mean that justices can never revisit prior decisions? No. But doing so should be done carefully and with "restraint".

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 17, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    We need supreme court judges that make good decisions in context of the law. This discussion of liberal or conservative judges that persistes suggests that, in a not so subtle way, we want the judges to be political lapdogs, not impartial legal minds. Not good.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    Finally a conservative who is honest enough to tell the truth. Conservatives want supreme court decision they like, regardless of the legal reasoning. When activism achieves that end, they'll take activism. Same with restraint. I'm not saying liberals are any different, but conservatives always claim allegiance to a higher principle.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 17, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    I agree that Supreme court appointees are a huge perk for the president in shaping the nation.

    Will writes of the GOP."from excessive respect for judicial "restraint" and condemnation of "activism."

    He must be looking at a different GOP than I am.

    More and more, judicial "activism" is defined as a ruling with which I disagree.

    And what is the GOP "judicial restraint" that he refers to?

    What I find sad is when some of these justices do not recuse themselves from participating in a decision with which they have a definite conflict of interest.

    Both justices Scalia and Kegan fit into this category.

    What I find is that the Left carps about Scalia's conflict and gives Kegan a pass.
    The right cites only Kegans conflict.

    Which shows that people dont really want a fair court. They just want it skewed to their liking.