Social Studies - 2017-18

GOVT.10d - Judicial Activism and Judicial Restraint

The student will apply social science skills to understand the federal judiciary by 

d) comparing the philosophies of judicial activism and judicial restraint; 

Adopted: 2015

BIG IDEAS

UNDERSTANDING THE STANDARD

Supporters of the philosophies of judicial activism and judicial restraint disagree regarding the role of the federal judiciary. 

ESSENTIALS

Judicial activists believe federal courts should use the power of judicial review to resolve important societal issues. Since justices are not elected, they can make controversial decisions without fear of losing office (e.g., Brown v. Board of Education). 

Those in favor of judicial restraint argue that the Supreme Court should avoid ruling on constitutional issues whenever possible. When action is necessary, the Court should decide cases in as narrow a manner as possible (e.g., Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson).

KEY VOCABULARY

Updated: May 17, 2017