A number of commentators have recently renewed a debate over the Supreme Court’s “activism,” criticizing the Court for overstepping its authority. On the Policy Options blog, Leonid Sirota responds.

Over at Maclean’s, I take issue with both the critics and the critics of the critics, elaborating on what judicial activism means and why it can be a useful concept.

There’s a whole lot not in the post, including a broader discussion on judicial “finality,” and the obvious implications my perspective may have for things like the appointments process. But, I think the “activism” debate can be useful, when properly specified. This forum is a good place for continuing that debate.

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Emmett Macfarlane
Emmett Macfarlane is an associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on the intersection of governance, rights and public policy, with a particular emphasis on the policy impact of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Supreme Court of Canada.

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