Judicial philosophy

Judicial philosophy

Judicial philosophy refers to the way a judge understands and interprets the law. Laws are universally used hence judges have to interpret them in a way that brings out the clear meaning that was intended by the law writers (Ballotpedia,n.d).

Different Judicial Philosophies

  1. Judicial Restraints -This philosophy is termed as democratic since it is arguable. It is used by judges when interpreting a law. It strictly follows the constitution and allows the other elected branches of the government to take lead. (pohnpei397, 2015).
  1. Judicial activism- In this philosophy, judges tend to think outside the line and are not restricted to the constitution. It strikes down laws that are unconstitutional. It protects the people from being denied their rights (Pohnpei397, 2015).
  1. Constructionism (strict) – This philosophy is faithful to the constitution since it considers the intention of those who wrote the constitution. It looks at the clear meaning of the words in the document. The Supreme Court honors what the constitution says rather than adding their own opinions and decisions it is similar to judicial restrains (Pohnpei397, 2015).
  1. Constructionism(loose) – This philosophy allows people to change their basic laws as the country changes. It does not support people to abide by the set constitutional rule. They believe it’s hard to know, understand and determine what those people meant or intended while writing the law; it is similar to judicial activism (Pohnpei397, 2015).

According to me, judicial activism is the best judicial philosophy because it does the following:

  1. Judicial activism supervises and implements laws

The court and the judges are given the authority or the mandate to implement their own laws not following the constitution in order to avoid conflicts that may arise when the administrators strengthen the schemes to other cases. However the court has power to change their ruling if modification is needed (Daniel, 2010).

  1. It promotes constitutional democracy

Constitutional laws expect judges to act in accordance with the constitution. For this reason, courts have the responsibility to consider and emphasize on what is in the constitution (Daniel, 2010).

  1. It gives judges the power to stand firm on their decision

Most people dislike the courts because they stand firm on sensitive issues. However,It is the duty of judges to provide fair judgment according to the law. Since the courts have the power to validate or invalidate a law (Daniel, 2010).

  1. Judicial activism provides insight and vision

Judicial activism work towards the greater benefit of the entire society depending on various facts. Some laws are made out of beliefs and others out of insight.  (Daniel, 2010)


Judicial activism has been known for creating good laws that favor the society at large. It has also led to remarkable changes in the judicial system; nonetheless, those laws have to be analyzed to ensure that they exceed constitutional expectations (Daniel, 2010).


Ballotpedia, (n.d). An interactive almanac of United States politics. Retrieved from: http://ballotpedia.org/Judicial_interpretation on 2nd July 2015.

Pohnpei397, (2015). Enotes. Social sciences. What judicial philosophy should guide the Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review? Retrieved from: http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-judicial-philosophy-should-guide-supreme-474413 on 2nd July 2015.

Daniel, H. (2010), Benefitof.net.Benefits of judicial activism. Retrieved from: http://benefitof.net/benefits-of-judicial-activism/ on 2nd July 2015.


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