Judicial activism

High school
Pages 4 (1004 words)
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Judicial activism and restraint are points of controversy for politicians, general public and the Supreme Court itself. Judicial activism refers to the court's willingness to become involved in major issues and the extent that it makes decisions based on constitutional grounds.


In Roper v. Simmons, a seventeen year old by the name of Simmons confessed that he plotted the murder and burglary of an older woman. This case placed the question before the Courts as to whether or not a person younger than eighteen years old should be punished with the death penalty when convicted of crimes that would typically mandated capital punishment. The seventeen year old was originally sentenced to death for his crimes. This decision was later overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court and the defendant's sentence was converted to life imprisonment. The Missouri Supreme Court stated that although there were cases that illustrated that there was a precedent set that allowed for capital punishment for those persons under the age of eighteen, that a 'national consensus has developed against the execution of juvenile offenders'(2005). This case has since been heard by the United States Supreme Courts. Judicial activism and restraint are concepts that can be readily viewed in the Roper v. Simmons case when it was decided by the Supreme Court in March 2005.
The majority opinion addressed both the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments when considering the affirmation of the Missouri Supreme Court decision. ...
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