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Passage Set #2 Qs. 6

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Hi Powerscore,

I don't understand why A is the correct answer. I thought Passage B would be less partisan since it talks about only one side judicial activism, Passage A talks about both, despite favouring judicial activism more.

Eric Ockert
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Hi lunsandy!

Both passages addressed strict constructionists and judicial activists. Author A certainly outlined both positions in a more structured format, but Author B still addressed each side of the debate. Author A merely criticized strict construction as "rather archaic in the modern era." That was about the extent of A's criticism. Also, Author A does not advocate judicial activism much, if at all. Instead, he describes how the activists think of themselves and what they think about the Constitution.

Author B, on the other hand, is clearly a strict constructionist and repeatedly criticizes judicial activism. The tone of his/her passage is decidedly partisan. However, all you have to identify here is whether Author B could be considered more partisan than Author A, and I think there is enough evidence to support that claim.
Eric Ockert
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Hi, I am really confused as to why the answer is A rather than B. These were the two I was stuck between, but in the end, I went with the answer that seemed to better capture only one of the passages than both (as both appear to be partisan, but I can point to specific segments that appear cynical in B). Thank you!
Rachael Wilkenfeld
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Hi hwoods,

I don't see any cynicism in Passage B. The author of Passage B is certainly critical of judicial interpretation of laws, but he's not cynical. There's no claim that the judges are only acting in self interest. An example of a cynical piece would talk about how judges rely on donations for elections, and make decisions based not on policy ideas, but on their own interest to get more donors for an upcoming election. There's no hint of selfishness by the judges in Passage B.

Passage B is much more partisan that Passage A. While Passage B takes a clear line against judicial activists, saying that the judges have "no legitimate right" for their behavior, Passage A takes a much less strong position. The author of Passage A seems to support some judicial interpretation, but does not use nearly the same strength of language when discussing the alternate position.

Hope that helps!