NJ Fiscal Folly

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Criticizing The Courts

Fairleigh Dickinson University conducted a brief poll of NJ voters in late February and early March. The basic topic was courts that "legislate from the bench", that is exceed judicial authority and take on a legislative role. A good example in NJ would be the benchmarks, scope, and expense of Abbott district remedies mandated by the NJ Supreme Court.

One of the questions in the FDU poll asked "In your opinion, how serious a problem is it that New Jersey courts legislate from the bench?"

The answers were as follows:

All Responses
==========
Very Serious (33%); Somewhat Serious (33%)

Republicans
=========
Very Serious (49%); Somewhat Serious (26%)

Democrats
========
Very Serious (22%); Somewhat Serious (36%)

I don't find these results as suprising as the answers to another question "In your opinion, how serious a problem is it that New Jersey courts rule on the basis of what their political party wants?"

All Responses
==========
Very Serious (59%); Somewhat Serious (21%)

Republicans
=========
Very Serious (64%); Somewhat Serious (20%)

Democrats
========
Very Serious (55%); Somewhat Serious (23%)

In other words, even NJ Democrats, who benefit from politically-motivated judicial activism, recognize the corrosive effects of such a philosophy, effects which diminish judicial credibility for everyone.

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