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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.
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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!
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How is #6 A and not B? I can understand why it might be fair to call them either cynical or partisan, but to me cynical seems to work better as a more general phrase that captures the stronger stance taken against the opposing view in passage B. Cynical would capture this negativity, and though partisan would, it would imply at least some loose degree of association with political parties, which we can't infer from the passage, no? What is it about the word cynical that makes it a less attractive answer? Or what is specifically "partisan" about the nature of the author's tone?

Maybe it all boils down to a correct definition of partisan as used in the sense of the test is just associated with people in one "camp" as opposed to any specific type of group, which therefore makes partisan more accurate?
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 Jeff Wren
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Hi Mark,

While the author of Passage B is certainly critical of judges who interpret the law and judicial activism, that is not quite the same as being cynical. "Cynical" means believing that people are motivated purely by self interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.

There is nothing in Passage B that indicates that the author feels that these judges are interpreting the laws for their own selfish motives, only that they are incorrectly overstepping their judicial role. While that may be motivated by a selfish interest of the judges to increase their power/influence, this is not explicitly stated in the passage.

As far as Answer A, "partisan" (meaning prejudiced in favor of a particular cause) fits the author of Passage B perfectly. The author of Passage B is 100% on the side of the strict constructionists, while the author of A is more neutral/balanced and presents both sides of the debate.

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