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QOTD on Judicial Activism August 10, 2007

Posted by federalist in Government, Judiciary.
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Roger Pilon:

James Madison stood for limited government, not wide-ranging democracy. His first principle was that in wide areas individuals are entitled to be free simply because they are born free. His second principle was that in some areas majorities are entitled to rule because we have authorized them to.

Yet we repeatedly see conservative jurists, as [in Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs v. Eschenbach], ignoring the true Madison — deferring to the legislature when their duty, as Madison put it, is to stand as “an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive.”

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Comments»

1. federalist - October 26, 2007

John Hasnas notes:

Prior to the nineteenth century, it would be fair to say that common law judges did not make law, but discovered the law by discovering what constituted the customs of the country. In sum, under the old common law, judges served mainly as procedural referees


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