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Academic Bias, Accuracy in Academia

Judgement at Heritage

Scholars at a recent Heritage Foundation lecture debated whether judicial activism is a “value-neutral” label for judges’ actions or an aspersion cast on some of their decisions.

Their comments were made in light of former Harvard University professor Cass Sunstein’s 2006 book Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts Are Wrong for America. Sunstein was confirmed last year to head the Obama Administration’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA); he taught at the University of Chicago at the time of publication.

“There are, broadly speaking, two accounts of judicial activism,” asserts Sunstein in Radicals in Robes.

“When people criticize judges as activist, they mean just this: The court is not following the right understanding of the Constitution,” he writes (emphasis in original).To label a decision ‘activist’ is to label it wrong.”

“On a different account, the word ‘activist’ is purely descriptive, and a decision that is activist is not necessarily wrong.”

Read more at Accuracy in Academia.



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