Magazine January 26, 2009, Issue

Courts vs. Law

Ronald George, chief justice of the California supreme court, March 4, 2008 (Paul Sakuma/Reuters)
Why you shouldn’t want an activist judiciary

At the end of 2008, the number of states allowing physician-assisted suicide grew from one to three. There was, however, a difference in the way the two states’ laws changed. In Washington, voters passed a referendum to legalize the practice. In Montana, a judge declared that the state constitution includes a right to physician-assisted suicide.

Also out West, California voters enacted a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. That amendment came in response to a decision of that state’s highest court holding that the California constitution confers upon same-sex couples a right to

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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