Comparative Criminal Justice – CRJ 330
Assignment #3 – South Korea’s Constitutional Court
a. Traditional theories of judicial review hold that neutral or principled grounds are the only legitimate bases for judicial decisions and reject political motives in judicial decision-making. Do you believe this is true? Do you see principled v. political motives in important U.S. Supreme Court constitutional decisions which overturn laws passed by legislatures (such as restrictions on gun ownership, or marijuana use)?
I do believe that neutral or principled grounds are the only legitimate bases for judicial decisions. A judiciary may have political views on a topic and may even feel strongly about those views, but the only way to ensure justice is to act on the matters in a neutral manner. Political views are subjective and result from an individual’s perception of what is right or best, these assertions may not be in the best interest of the whole of society. Basically, if a political decision is applied to a judicial scenario, one party or group benefits and others don’t which leads to an imbalance in a system that is designed to be an impartial system of checks and balances for the behavior of our citizens. I don’t see that the Supreme Court rules with political motives in mind. I believe that the Supreme Court rules as fairly and neutrally as they believe they can while, of course, some of their own individual moral opinions do shine through. I believe that the only political motives that are apparent are that a President is likely to examine the candidates’ political views and ruling history when deciding who to nominate for the Supreme Court. Supreme Court Justices are sworn into life terms, so there is no favor repaying or lobbying that is necessary to secure their positions. b. Interestingly, those behind high-profile cases brought to the court are often those who seek...