There are two truths about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS):
- That it was a great idea, and copied by many since.
- That Democrats have tried to alternately over-empower it, corrupt or undermine it (and the appointments), since it's creation; depending on whether SCOTUS was furthering or undermining their agenda of taking power away from the states and people, and giving it to the elites.
History of the Court
Supreme Court : 4 items
The Supremes (Justices)
If you were to order the current justices from most Constitutionalist (Conservative) to least (most Progressive/Political), the order would be Thomas, Gorsuch, Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, Breyer, Kegan, Sotomayor, RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg)... with Kennedy, Roberts and Breyer occasionally jumping to the other side on a few issues. While the Democrats (Breyer, Kegan, Sotomayor, RBG) tend to vote in a block on left-leaning cases.
Judicial Activism generally means legislating from the bench: inventing law, instead of just interpreting it... or coloring it based on what you think the law should have said, instead of what it actually said. This started with a turn of the 19th century invention by progressives (and the Harvard Law Review) that the Constitution should be imagined as a "living document", that can be changed over time -- and that precedent is more important than original intent. So you can "interpret" something to mean what you think it should have meant, then use that in the future.... which means your starting point in the future is not the original intent, but the revised intent (interpretation) invented by other judges, and you go from there, until the final interpretation of the law, looks nothing like the original.
This precedence above prudence and original intent empowers Judges to become oligarchs, twisting the law to fit their morals, and enforcing it on everyone else. (A progressive's wet dream). So while the right is occasionally activist (or at least makes poor or politically motivated decisions that deviate from actual law), this is the whole reason for being for Progressives. Their purpose in life is to push their ideas for progress, no matter what the law says. And so while there are valid complaints against all the Judges for not being legally consistent, no one can re-imagine what they think the law should have said like Progressives.
If there's an obviously wrong side (from an original intent PoV), you stand better than average odds that Sotomayor and RBG are going to be on it. Putting their personal agendas above the actual law, national interest, or consequences.
Background: Supremes : 3 items
Rulings: SCOTUS : 2 items