Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said it’s ridiculous to think that U.S. Supreme Court justices are guilty of judicial activism — that those who accuse such are simply confusing activism with interpretation.
“I think most judges have a definition of judicial activism,” she said during an address at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, Newsmax reported. “It’s a ruling you don’t like.”
She made the statement in response to a query for her reaction to those who complain about judicial activism, yet simultaneously seek the court to rule that laws are unconstitutional, Newsmax said.
Her response sets her apart from Justice Antonin who has been critical of what he sees as a trend of judges to interpret the Constitution and established laws in line with culturally and socially accepted norms.
Ms. Sotomayor, however, said people should read the court’s decisions themselves, and ignore commentators’ claims of activism.
“Read a decisions here there’s a majority and a dissent,” she said, Newsmax reported. “And what you will find out is that both sides always base it on the legal analysis. We don’t come to our conclusion willy-nilly or arbitrarily. … When we’re looking at a question, we’re ordering the use of [our individual legal] tools. Some are more important than others. Some don’t get used for particular reasons.”
But in the end, all use law to form their decisions, she said.
“In the end, we do believe in law. And there won’t be any decision you read where you will think that a judge is activist,” Ms. Sotomayor said, the news outlet reported. “Every judge is trying to do the best that he or she can to enforce the law as he or she believes it is written.”