The rationale for decisions

The rationale for decisions - members of the Court...

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The rationale for decisions Sometimes Supreme Court decisions require  statutory interpretation,  or the  interpretation of federal law. Here the Court may rely on the plain meaning of a law to  determine what Congress or a state legislature intended, or it may turn to the legislative  history, the written record of how the bill became a law. Similar forms of reasoning apply  in cases of  constitutional interpretation,  but justices (especially liberals) often are  willing to use a third method: the  living Constitution  approach. They update the meaning  of provisions, sticking neither to literal interpretation nor to historical intent, so that the  Constitution can operate as "a living document."  Court watchers group the justices into liberal, moderate, and conservative camps. The 
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Unformatted text preview: members of the Court certainly have personal views, and it is naive to believe that these views do not play a part in decisions. What is more important, however, is how a justice views the role of the Court. Proponents of judicial restraint see the function of the judiciary as interpreting the law, not making new law, and they tend to follow statutes and precedents closely. Those who support judicial activism, on the other hand, interpret legislation more loosely and are less bound by precedent. They see the power of the Court as a means of encouraging social and economic policies....
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2011 for the course POSI 1310 taught by Professor Arnold during the Spring '08 term at Texas State.

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