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Monday, September 25, 2006

Questions about Chief Justice’s Strike Zone

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed yesterday entitled “Is the Chief Justice Really a Judicial Activist?,” reporter David Savage questioned whether Chief Justice Roberts truly sees his new role as that of a passive "umpire" -- which is how he portrayed himself during his confirmation hearings. Although the Chief Justice paid substantial lip service to judicial restraint during his hearings, Savage highlights decisions last term in which “the Chief Justice seemed to do more than simply call balls and strikes.” His votes to take away a state’s traditional power to regulate the practice of medicine and dramatically rewrite the scope of the Clean Water Act were anything but models of judicial restraint, according to Savage. And what some fear to be a tendency to seek “the right’s result” rather than the right result has court-watchers interested in the fate of key cases on the Court's docket this term, including cases on abortion and race in education.

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