Court decisions and theory of judicial making
Document Type:Term Paper
Specifically, political, social, cultural and economic movements, together with the judge's personal impulses, lifelong experiences and temperament create a predilection whereby judges are predisposed to arrive at some specific decisions. The various factors that may influence judicial decision making according to Haines are direct influences including political and legal experiences, political opinions and affiliations, and temperamental and intellectual traits and the remote and indirect experiences such as general and legal education, personal and family associations like social and wealth status. Generally, the nature of decision making by the judiciary is a major preoccupation of modern jurisprudence. Influential and prominent writers such as Dworkin have coined different theories and taken stance position in general, that no utilitarian account of moral or judicial decision making can work (Capurso, pg8).
Basically, the law consists of the explicitly adopted rules in addition to the best moral principles which can be interpreted to be lying behind such rules. The 2nd issue presented by this case was if Scott had his freedom from slavery by migrating to a Free State or territory. Lastly, the 3rd issue was that on Missouri Compromise which had abolished slavery northwest. The court held that a black person (with ancestors imported to U. S) and the as a slave, regardless of whether free or enslaved had no right to become a citizen of US and thus didn’t have the standing to sue in a federal court (Konig et al pg 6). In addition, the federal government had no power or mandate to regulate slavery within the federal territories that were acquired following the creation of the US.
According to his interpretation, during the time of Constitution ratification, black men were allowed to vote in 5 out of thirteen states. As a result, McLean argued that this made them not only citizens in the states but of America (Hunter, pg. He thus concluded that the decision by the other seven judges that Dred was not a US citizen was much more “a matter of taste rather than of law”. Dworkin would take a similar approach in such a case she believed in law as integrity and rulings based on principles rather than purely rules. In the dissent, McLean sited Marie Louise V. Taney basically used legal theory in his ruling chronicling Negro and slave law in the American States and British colonies for deciding if the federal law could be able to view Dred Scott as a citizen of US in any state according to Article III.
Thus he argued that the affirmative of such propositions can't be maintained (Greenberg, pg. In addition, the judges observed that legislative actions taken by various states (including anti-slavery laws) inflicted severe disabilities on the blacks (African Americans). Dworkin is a great opposer of legal positivism as well as a prominent non-originalist interprevist and argues that legal positivists, a method of case interpretation are not quite plain (Segal et al, pg. He rejects the positivist aspects of law which are predominant among the legal realists and judges. Basically, he argues that there is no apparent pattern of official acceptance that allows for the selection of appropriate principles or rules that govern the case. There is no obligation for other judges to follow the ruling of the Chief Justice or of the majority and every judge in the bench is at liberty to make own decision (Miles et al, pg 10-11).
In this case, Justice McLean and Curtis dissented from the main ruling from other judges indicating their independence and liberty in decision making. Conclusion Since the judges and courts play a key role in the American Legal system and thus any theory that hopes to be of relevance must closely consider judiciary branch. Such theory must be able to provide the responsibilities and powers of judicial reasoning and judges in particular. Challenging the perception that the Supreme Court case decisions hinge mainly on precedent, the original intent of framers and plain constitution meaning, attitudinal theories is important as they affect the outcomes of the case and supporting judges. When the court makes decisions on a case, such decisions make the law due to the fact that they become precedent which binds future court rulings under the doctrine of stare decisis.
Work Cited 1. Capurso, Timothy J. How Judges Judge: Theories on Judicial Decision Making. Vol. Ohio University Press, 2010 4. Greenberg, Ethan. Dred Scott and the Dangers of a Political Court. Lexington Books, 2009 5. Van Doren, John W. Theories of Professors HLA Hart and Ronald Dworkin-A Critique. Clev. St. L.
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