The courts of law should be the first ones to follow the law. It is unfortunate that this is not happening. It is hypocrisy to boot. Moreover, organizations cannot be expected to stop discriminating against people with AIDS if the courts of law do not support the law called ADA. If laws are not supported by courts, there would be no difference between the courts and those that engage in unlawful activities. It is a matter of principle after all. The ADA must be obeyed with respect to AIDS in the workplace.
The statute is absolutely clear and reasonable, and there is no reason why courts of law should find loopholes in it. Judicial activism is clearly understood to be a violation of the law. When it occurs, it is referred to as “bad law” seeing that the judges are themselves responsible for creating bad laws out of absolutely good ones. The detailed case of AIDS in the workplace makes it abundantly clear that judicial activism may hurt the interests of the society. AIDS is a very sensitive issue among those that suffer from it.
The Supreme Court recognized the sensitivity of the issue when it included AIDS patients in the ADA. All the same, courts of law violated the provisions of the law later on, as though the law had not been clearly established to begin with. Thomas Sowell writes that at the heart of the problem referred to as judicial activism is this very fear that a judge would impose his person likes and dislikes in his decisions. Furthermore, this imposition of personal preferences may be so drastic that it eventually negates “the very meaning of law as a body of known rules to guide individual and social conduct.
” Both the supporters as well as the opponents of the practice of judicial activism are known to deplore such results. Even so, the supporters of judicial activism tend to deny that such a problem exists, while the latter assert that it really does. Evidence supports the view that judicial activism does occur. Although it is mostly debated in terms of decisions that require an interpretation of the Constitution, it is also prevalent in other areas of law, such as the ADA which was passed by the U. S. Congress.
Edward Whelan (2006), the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in the United States maintains that there are no reasonable grounds whatsoever for judicial activism. According to him, the Supreme Court as well as the rest of the courts of law have “imposed the left’s agenda” over the past forty years or more. The imposition of the agenda has concerned a wide range of issues, from abortion to the death penalty, from homosexuality to pornography, and from criminal rights to a secularized public square.
Critics of judicial activism have asserted that the erroneous rulings of the courts function to deprive the Americans of their essential political right to establish, through the elected representatives of the people, the policies that are meant to govern the entire nation, plus the states, and individual communities. Thus, the term “judicial activism” translates into an “unconstitutional judicial usurpation of the democratic process. ”
Whelen further explains that citizens have the right to demand that a judicial decision be corrected when in fact it has been established that a judge has overridden a legislative enactment. In other words, people suffering from AIDS can fight for their rights when courts of law fail to acknowledge the law itself because prejudice is overruling. Additionally, Whelen advises that citizens should not be expected to pretend that they do not know the correct procedure when a decision has been known to usurp the political process. Rather, citizens should demand that such a decision be overturned.
It is important for citizens to remember, however, that “plausible” interpretations of the law do not necessarily translate into correct ones. Finally, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center reminds the reader of Abraham Lincoln’s words, “The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, . . . the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.
" After all, judges too are human, and if they are not corrected when they are wrong in their decisions, the justice system of America that the entire world wishes to look up to, would fail miserably. These facts make the citizens correctly responsible for judicial activism. To put it another way, when the judicial system goes wrong, it is the responsibility of the citizens of America to correct it. If they do not do so, they would be letting go of the opportunity to make America a supreme model of justice for the rest of humanity. What is more, it is the citizens that would have to bear the consequences of injustices first.
1. Conservapedia. (2007). “Judicial Activism. ” Retrieved from http://www. conservapedia. com/Judicial_activism. (4 April 2007). 2. “HIV and AIDS in Africa. ” (2007, January 24). Avert. Retrieved from http://www. avert. org/aafrica. htm. (12 March 2007).