It's one of the wingnuts' phrases, to call judges activist when they rule in a way the wingnuts don't like. Well, let's see how the new passivist conservative judges do:
In a series of 5 to 4 decisions, the United States Supreme Court today veered sharply to the right. The Court voted along strict ideological lines to side with the Bush administration in deciding four contentious, high-profile cases.
The four cases ran the jurisprudential gamut. They included challenges to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, the Endangered Species Act, and taxpayer-funded faith-based initiatives, as well as a free speech case involving an Alaskan student who waved a sign reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" in front of television cameras during an Olympic ceremony. In the end, the Court opened loopholes in McCain-Feingold and in the Endangered Species Act, dismissed a suit objecting to publicly-funded religious programs, and upheld the suspension of the Alaskan student.
In all four cases, the majority consisted of the same conservative bloc and the minority of the Court's left wing. The conservative majority in all four cases included Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and the two Bush appointees, Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts. John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer dissented.
Note that freedom of speech is important for electoral campaigns but not for students in schools.
I'm not a lawyering goddess, but even I can see that a lot of interesting information can be derived from these decisions simply by asking: "Qui Bono?" Or "Who Benefits?"
Because all these decisions benefit the Republican party. Odd, this passivist judging.