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Was Thurgood Marshall an activist judge?

Was Thurgood Marshall an activist judge?

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DP Veteran
Jun 6, 2010
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The Republicans at Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings Monday seem to think so.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the panel, branded Marshall a "well-known activist." Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Marshall's legal view "does not comport with the proper role of a judge or judicial method." Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) pronounced Marshall "a judicial activist" with a "judicial philosophy that concerns me."


So on to the poll question:

Was Thurgood Marshall an activist judge?


YES (please show an example of his activism)

I don't know
It seems to me people from the South and Northern veiled racists tend to call Thurgood Marshall an activist judge a lot to win points among their constituents. They must still be pissed off about that whole Brown V. Board of Education/Civil Rights issue. I'm sure they'll get over it eventually.
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I don't know enough about him to say for sure, but 99.9 % of the time people use the term "activist judge" to mean "judge who rules in ways I disagree with", so I don't much worry about the accusation.
Honestly, are any judges non activist? Do any make rulings based strictly on the law and not on their political philosophy?
First, define "activist judge" for me.

My answer depends on the definition.
I would have to see what decisions he made in order to make that determination in whether or not he was a activist judge. Did he legislate from the bench? Did he cite foreign laws like Ruth Bader Ginsburg when making court decisions? Did he make up rights that did not exist in the constitution? So I picked I do not know.
All judges are activist judges. They all have points of views and these determine their rulings.

"activist judges" is just a buzz phrase hatched in a think tank and then repeated ad nauseum by a network of radio pundits for the purpose of influencing perception.
Let's see, three GOP Senators feel a certain way about a topic. I'm thinking that going counter to such sentiments is usually the correct answer.
Let's see, three GOP Senators feel a certain way about a topic. I'm thinking that going counter to such sentiments is usually the correct answer.

So a GOP Senator can never be correct? That's rather close minded.

As for the question, I really don't know enough about Marshall to say one way or the other. It would be nice to have some kind of voting record or excerpts from the opinions he's authored to help make a call.
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