What the liberal media doesn’t get, never got, and will never get, is that the phrase “judicial activism” can only be properly ascribed to “liberal” judges. But yesterday they went ahead anyway and authored an editorial with bias towards facts.
>Conservatives like to divide judges into liberal “activists” and conservative nonactivists who interpret the law rather than making it. Anyone who follows the courts knows that conservative judges are as activist as liberal judges —just for different causes. A new study of Supreme Court voting patterns confirms this and suggests that the conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are actually more activist than their liberal colleagues.
What is a judicial activist? It’s a justice who
>voted to overturn a federal or state law, or one of the court’s own precedents.
On that argument, it follows that
>The conservative justices were far more willing than the liberals to strike down federal laws — clearly an activist stance, since they were substituting their own judgment for that of the people’s elected representatives in Congress. Justice Thomas voted to overturn federal laws in 34 cases and Justice Scalia in 31, compared with just 15 for Justice Stephen Breyer.
In those cases I bet they had good reason, or thought they did. That’s why they write opinions. So thankfully the editorialist points out that
>Activism is not necessarily a bad thing. The Supreme Court is supposed to strike down laws that are unconstitutional or otherwise flawed. Clearly, all nine justices, from across the political spectrum, believe this, since they all regularly vote to strike down laws. What is wrong is for one side to pretend its judges are not activist, and turn judicial activism into a partisan talking point, when the numbers show a very different story.
“A partisan talking point” is right, and it’s a paltry substitute for an argument. Worse than that stands for the sneaky ad hominem circumstantial. So it means something like “a not well grounded opinion–because motivated by unjustified partisanship.” We suggest as a result that the The New York Times ought to enforce the rules of rational discourse and no longer host on its editorical pages the parade of bozos who substitute such nonsense of argument.