As typical, the lazy members of the news media cheerfully spread this manure without: "explain(ing) what that means, give any examples, or explain why it would be a bad thing".
An excellent article by Jeff Toobin in the New Yorker on The Chief Justice of the Supremo's Johnny the Robber Roberts shows that being a Judicial Activist is acceptable; as long as your a Conservative Activist:
- (Chief Justice ) Roberts said at the time. “Umpires don’t make the rules. They apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules...His jurisprudence as Chief Justice, Roberts said, would be characterized by “modesty and humility.” After four years on the Court, however, Roberts’s record is not that of a humble moderate but, rather, that of a doctrinaire conservative... In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party (emphasis mine).
The majority on the Court who are affiliated with The Modern Republican Party not only believe in Judicial activism, they consistently practice it.
It is the activism that allows a Corporation to pay a women less money as long as she does not find out about it within 180 days of the offense (never mind what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has previously ruled).
It is the activism that will ensure that non white students will continue to remain in the substandard schools as a matter of fact if not law (Brown Vs. Board of Education was so 1950's).
It is the Ultimate in Judicial Activism that allows the Majority Conservative members of the Court rather then the Majority of Voters to decide who will be the next President of the United States; in an unsigned one page opinion that must never be used as precedent.
With Spector flipping to the D's, the Republic Party is left with on 40 seats in the Senate and 178 in the House. Any attempt to block the nomination of Judge Sotomayor as only two outcomes (slim and none), so the R's are not even going to make the attempt.
What they will do is continue to ram home the talking points and make sure that they are constantly regurgitated by a media that does not do analysis, only Stenography. They are thinking long term (Elections of 2010, 2012 and 2016) and believe this may rally the base.
Unfortunately it may also rally the growing Hispanic Community in the United States.