Right to Privacy and Buggery

I believe you can tell when the Court is exercising judicial activism and it''s not always bad. Judicial activism, in my humble opinion, is when the Court goes beyond the constitution and in effect, enacts public policy. Read the case of Lawrence v. Texas, the Court cites sources from other countries like the internation court, UK law etc. Clearly the Court had an agenda- put down anti sodomy laws of all type- and they found the law to support the law.

Judicial restraint is the opposite. Absent a clear violation of the constitution, the Court would not challenge a laws.

This topic has kind of changed. But which do you prefer, allowing the States more freedom to make laws, or have the laws of the 50 states subject to the complete discretion of 9 justices?

How so? The justices in their ruling said that the Texas law violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendmant. There''s no room for fuzziness; it''s unconstitutional. They didn''t pull the law out of the air; there is both judicial and constitutional evidence to support the point.

This is an old argument which dates all the way back to the Strict Constructionalists and Liberal Constructionalists of the Constitution. The Supreme Court of the United States interpreted the Constitution as they saw it; they have made decisions and overridden them in the past (read the Dred Scott decision then read all the other civil rights laws; heck, read the Amistad decision then read Dred Scott). We''re just people with no power to interpret the Constitution for the country bickering over our views of what the Constitution says/means. I agree with JMJ, this is fruitless.

As to Lawyeron''s final statement, the Supremacy Clause establishes the word of the Federal government superior to the State''s. Without that, slavery would still be practiced in the United States. The Supreme Court also has the power of judicial review over laws. We can not and should not curtail that power, even if we don''t agree with the results. Such is the nature of democracy.

The ultimate issue between judicial activism and judicial restraint is the institutional locus of discretion, and no amount of insistence on the desirability of change or morality answers the question as to who is to decide what specific changes or what specific morality is needed. The institutional security of federal judges, appointed for life, may provide temptations for assuming this prerogative, without providing either moral or pragmatic justification. If no authorization is needed for judges to introduce ""change,"" neither is it needed for generals and admirals to do the same"”as in fact happens in a number of countries. Judges can conduct limited coups d''état surreptitiously, while a military coup is usually overt and sweeping. Nevertheless, the dangers to constitutional government are no less real in the long run from judicial activism"”both because of the cumulative effect of small usurpations and because small usurpations both generate pressures and provide the precedents for larger usurpations by others with different social visions.

The claim that judicial activism is necessary to rescue us from bondage to the past"”from having the writers of the Constitution ""rule us from the grave"""”defies both logic and history. There is no contest between the living and the dead. The contest is between those living individuals who wish to see control of change in judicial hands and those who wish to see it in other hands. There has been no argument that either statutory or constitutional laws are not to change. The only meaningful question is: Who is to change them? The reiterated emphasis on change, like the reiterated emphasis on morality, argues what is not at issue and glides over what is crucially at issue: Why are judges the authorized instrument? The original cognitive meaning of laws"”constitutional or statutory"”is important, not out of deference to the dead, but because that is the agreed-upon meaning among the living, until they choose to make an open and explicit change"”not have one foisted on them by the verbal sleight-of-hand of judges.

Existing social philosophies and political alignments cannot be presupposed in discussions of long-run questions, such as constitutional interpretation. Even within the judiciary, differences in ""substantive values"" have been drastic over time, and by no means negligible even at a given time. The belief that a constitutional structure can be maintained while jurists with radically different visions make ""substantive choices"" within it seems dangerously similar to a belief that one can slide half-way down a slippery slope. The argument for judicial activism must stand or fall in general and enduring terms, not simply on whether some current political or social creed is considered so superior to competing creeds as to justify judges'' decisions in its favor. It is ultimately not a question of the relative merits of particular political or social creeds but of the long-run consequences of opening the floodgates to the generic principle of constitutional decisions based on ""substantive values."" Once you have opened the floodgates, you cannot tell the water where to go.

As to Lawyeron''s question -

Amendment 10 of the Constitution:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The states should have the rights to make laws that pertain to themselves.

Slavery was ended through compensated emancipation in dozens of countries (including the British empire) between 1800 and 1860. The Civil War was not about slavery, and there were peaceful means for ending slavery available.

All right, then what was the Civil War about? State''s rights vs. Federal supremacy? Northern culture encroaching on southern culture?

This is overly simplistic, as there were a great many contributors to the Civil War, but in it''s simplest terms, the Civil War was about whether we should have a decentralized government with the states having the right to secede, or a centralized federal government dictates policy for all.

Lincoln was pro-slavery. On at least 14 different occasions between 1854 and 1860 Lincoln unambiguously stated that he believed that blacks were inferior to whites. He showed his support of slavery in his support of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, and he admitted that Emancipation Proclamation applied only to those states in rebellion, not to slaves in states not in rebellion.

But Lincoln was a firm believer in the need for a stronger Federal government. Lincoln''s opposition and rhetoric against slavery were a perfect example of a politician using an emotional hot-button to advance his own agenda.

Well, looks like the Party of Lincoln was never as inclusive as it purported to be.

Well, looks like the Party of Lincoln was never as inclusive as it purported to be.

Can you have a conversation without insinuations and insults? There are plenty of faults in both political parties. What possible contribution to the conversation is made with that sort of snide comment?

How can I insult by pointing out a truth that you yourself brought up? You were the one that said Lincoln supported slavery and was a clear bigot. For years the Republicans have been touting themselves as the same party who freed the slaves by calling themselves the Party of Lincoln in direct response to people who call the Republicans racists and bigots. Funny how now you say that Lincoln was the very thing that the Republicans are trying not to associate themselves with. Care to withdraw your accusations against Lincoln?

Rat, your debating style leaves much to be desired. You refuse to acknowledge other peoples points; you attack other people''s character without provocation; and you change subjects as like a manic two-year old, usually with an insult or snide comment.

There are facts and political realities, and they only occasionally intersect. The reason why people say to never discuss politics or religion are the same: most people have very strong opinions based on very little actual knowledge. I fear you prove that point.

I am proud that you have such strong opinions. I am proud that you want to have discourse on those things you believe in. I think it is great that you attempt to be an active participant as opposed to the majority of sideline observers.

But, for the love of God, please learn some decorum. Nothing constructive comes from rhetoric. Nothing constructive comes from pointing fingers and name calling. You are obviously a smart person, don''t demean yourself or your arguments by stooping to the point of ''nyah, nyah, I''m right and you''re wrong.''

What do you know, we''re done here too!