Judicial Activism and the Rule of Law

Newt Gingrich's position paper, "Bringing the Courts Back Under the Constitution," is a timely and thoughtful exposition on the proper role of the judiciary and the perceived need to rein in the power of the courts to make unconstitutional judicial rulings that, he contends, the Legislature and Executive are too willing to accept as binding.  The paper argues that the unwarranted premise of judicial supremacy in the exposition of constitutional law has compromised national security (Boumediene v. Bush, 2008), assaulted religious freedom (Everson v. Board of Education, 1947), or undermined state sovereignty and American customs and values (Roper v. Simmons, 2005). Speaker Gingrich is not alone in expressing doubts about the theory of judicial supremacy in matters of constitutional law.  Indeed, as he points out, the mistrust of an over-mighty judiciary was one of the cornerstones upon which the republic was founded, by those who had "suffered under tyrannical and dictatorial...(Read Full Article)

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