Likely new Justice expected to help stem anti-environmental trend by the Court’s activist conservative justices-
The last term of the Supreme Court was the most anti-environmental in memory, ruling against conservation groups in all cases. New Chief Justice Roberts joined with Justice Scalia and other conservative justices to ignore settled law, and precedent,* so to weaken laws and regulations to protect the environment (and other areas of the law).
Sotomeyer’s record, according to these groups, is neutral without a built in bias against environmental protection laws. She will replace David Souter, who generally favored the settled interpretation of environmental law. Therefore, President Obama will need to replace several more Justices before the trend can really be reversed.
Story: Enviros back Sotomayor for Supreme Court. by Lisa Hymas. Grist
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The word “judicial activist,*” which generally has a negative connotation, refers to judges that rule broadly when there is no necessity to do so in a case, and interpose their own policy views to overturn precedent and, in effect, re-write the laws by consistently interpreting unclear portions of them in just one direction.
The word has been used for years by conservatives to attack liberal judges, but in fact, activism has become the conservative’s judicial weapon of choice in recent years.
Activism is not always a negative feature, especially when over the years a series of precedents have led to absurdities when compared to the realities of a situation.