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George Will on Judicial Activism

Last January, I criticized George Will on this blog for "muddi[ng] the linguistic waters by using the term 'judicial activism' to mean something entirely different from what that term has been understood to mean for many years."

Yesterday, Will had this column on the same subject as the January column, judicial review of health care mandates.  This time, however, he takes his linguistic cue from Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, who wrote a concurring opinion in a case striking down a statute for violating a constitutional prohibition on retroactivity.

"There is," Willett explains, "a profound difference between an activist judge and an engaged judge." The former creates rights not specified or implied by the Constitution. The latter defends rights the Framers actually placed there and prevents the elected branches from usurping the judiciary's duty to declare what the Constitution means.
Better.  Much better.

[CJLF takes no position on the health care question, BTW.]

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