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So Much For The False “Activist Judges” Canard…

In a recent study of justices on the Supreme Court of the United States, guess which justices were the most "activist" in terms of willingness to wholly overturn or disregard precedents? I’ll give you one guess:

A new study supports our fears: Supreme Court nominees present themselves one way at confirmation hearings but act differently on the court. That makes it difficult for senators to cast informed votes or for the public to play a meaningful role in the process….

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, for example, told the Senate that they had strong respect for Supreme Court precedents. On the court they were the justices most likely to vote to overturn those precedents. Justice David Souter deferred more to precedent than his Senate testimony suggested he would.

So much for the conservative "legislating from the bench" canard of branding liberals as activists, eh? Despite the occasional lapse of honesty about what is going on with conservative jurists attempting to force their own worldview on the rest of us from the bench, the false branding really needs to be questioned. I agree with Dahlia Lithwick that the "conservative" brand needs a new name, and I kind of like her "re-activist judges" branding, but I’m not married to it. Suggestions?

Next time some pundit brings up those "liberal activist judges," we should all just laugh. A lot. Because the thought that folks like Scalia and Thomas aren’t trying to influence policy from the bench? That’s simply laughable.

PS — Oh, the karma: look who is having difficulty finding a job after obfuscating and dodging for a living to provide Bush WHCYA? Guess "expert at saying ‘I don’t recall, Senator.’ " isn’t exactly in high demand these days, eh?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com