Extreme forms of judicial activism violate the separationof-powers doctrine because they would intrusively encroach on all branches of government.
The debate between judicial activism and judicial restraint continues into the present. The battle over Judge Robert Bork represented this debate in heightened form. Judges are not only evaluated for their competence but also for their judicial philosophy. Although Bork had a résumé full of scholarship attacking judicial activism, his conservative ideology led his opponents to charge him with using the cloak of judicial restraint to further conservative causes. Bork's open responses to the Senate explain why other Supreme Court justice candidates do not answer questions about their legal philosophy. Justices Sandra Day O'Conner and Antonin Scalia have been noted for not even answering questions regarding the judicial review precedent established in Marbury v. Madison ( 1803). The confirmation of Clarence Thomas brought the issue up again, and this time the Supreme Court candidate refused to reveal his philosophy or discuss his opinions on particular cases.
Although the Rehnquist Court is not making the sweeping changes made by the Warren Court, it is making changes incrementally and making public policy from smoking restrictions in penitentiaries to decisions on the form congressional districts should take.
In areas of administrative law, the Court is moving in the direction of extreme deference. In Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 ( 1984), the Court has exercised restraint by not insisting on clearer guidelines for agency administration. This kind of judicial restraint has been criticized because extreme deference yields agencies considerable powers and possibly more powers than a system of checks and balances should allow.
The debate over judicial activism and judicial restraint is likely to continue, just as it has throughout the nation's history. Throughout history, we see that the debate between judicial activism sometimes comes up with the right to privacy and abortion, sometimes with the rights of criminals compared to society at large, sometimes with regard to liberalism, and other times the push for conservatism is in question. The debate is located in law schools, in courts, in politics, and in society at large. The crux of this debate is based upon the Constitution and its meaning.
K. KIM LOUTZENHISER
Bronner, Ethan, 1989. Battle for Justice: How the Bork Nomination Shook America. New York: W. W. Norton.
Current, Richard. ed. 1967. The Political Thought of Abrabam Lincoln. New York: Bobbs-Merrill.
Elliott, Stephen P., 1986. A Reference Guide to the United States Supreme Court. New York: Facts on File Publications.
Ferguson, Andrew, 1994. "Power Hungry High Court: Even Conservative Justices Succumb to Lure of Policy Making". Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 29, 6.
Janda, Kenneth, Jeffrey Berry, and Jerry Goldman, 1992. The Challenge of Democracy: Government in America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Koch, Charles H., 1991. "An Issue-Driven Strategy for Review of Agency Decisions". Administrative Law Review (Fall) 511-558.
Lash, Joseph P., 1975. From the Diaries of Felix Frankfurter. New York: W. W. Norton.
Meier, Kenneth J., 1993. Politics and the Bureaucracy: Policymaking in the Fourth Branch of Government, 3d ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Warren, Kenneth F., 1996. Administrative Law in the Political System, 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Wolfe, Christopher, 1991. Judicial Activism: Bulwark or Precarious Security? Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION. The study and practice of management theories and techniques directly relevant to enhancing the ability of courts and other quasijudicial bodies to perform their duties with professionalism, expeditiousness, and fairness.
Judicial administration directs attention to a host of bureaucratic issues that can be conveniently encompassed under the topics of court organization and the management of litigation. Under the former topic, judicial administration involves such matters as the structure of courts and other quasi-judicial bodies; the selection, tenure, and training of members of the judiciary; personnel relations with respect to court staff; financial management with respect to all court operations; and the operational relationship between the courts, as democratic institutions, and the broader community inclusive of the media.
At its core, however, and as the second great topic of judicial administration, stands the processing of litigation and caseflow management. The ultimate purpose of courts is the dispensation of justice through the resolution of legal disputes and this, in turn, is contingent upon the expeditious management of cases. Caseflow management itself, then, addresses a number of issues respecting how best to organize courts to undertake their prime task. Attention is directed to such matters as the managerial roles of judges and court administrators, administrative rules of procedure, calendaring systems, and antidelay initiatives.
Although the practice of judicial administration can now be found throughout the courts and justice systems of the Western world, the elaboration and development of judicial administration is very much rooted in the American experience and American interest in management theory and public sector reform.
The origins of judicial administration in the United States can be traced to the early decades of the twentieth century. Through the nineteenth century the judicial sys-