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NCJ Number: 66641 Find in a Library
Title: ACTIVE RATIONALITY IN JUDICIAL REVIEW
Journal: MINNESOTA LAW REVIEW  Volume:64  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1980)  Pages:467-521
Author(s): R DELGADO
Corporate Author: University of Minnesota Law School
Institute on Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 55
Sponsoring Agency: University of Minnesota Law School
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE VIEWPOINT THAT THE COURTS MAY OWE A DUTY TO CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS PROSECUTED UNDER QUESTIONABLE OR IRRATIONAL STATUTES IS PRESENTED, AND ELEMENTS OF A DEFENDANT'S PRIMA FACIE CASE ARE EXPLORED.
Abstract: IN UNITED STATES V. WARD (1967), THE DEFENDANT CHALLENGED A FEDERAL MARIJUANA STATUTE ON RATIONAL BASIS GROUNDS, ARGUING THAT UNDER THE CURRENT STATE OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE, MARIJUANA WAS IMPROPERLY CLASSIFIED BECAUSE IT WAS PLACED IN THE CATEGORY OF DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES. THE DEFENDANT WAS UNABLE TO PROVE HIS ARGUMENT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED THE INSTRUMENTS NECESSARY FOR GENERATING THE INFORMATION ESSENTIAL TO PROVE HIS POINT. THEREFORE, THE COURTS, UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, SHOULD OBLIGATE THE GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE THE CONTINUING RATIONALITY OF ITS PENAL STATUTES SINCE THE GOVERNMENT ALREADY ACTIVELY PROTECTS RATIONALITY IN ALMOST EVERY OTHER AREA, PROCEDURAL AS WELL AS SUBSTANTIVE, OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. CHALLENGERS OF A STATUTE SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO JUDICIAL RELIEF WHEN THEY PRESENT DATA, INFORMATION, OR SOME PRODUCT OF RESEARCH THAT APPEARS RELEVANT TO A CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE. THEY SHOULD ALSO BE ABLE TO OBTAIN RELIEF WHEN THEY PRESENT EVIDENCE THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS IMPEDED FURTHER DATA COLLECTION OR INQUIRY, OR EXERCISES MONOPOLY CONTROL OVER THE FIELD WITHOUT GOOD REASON, AND IF THE INQUIRY MAY BE SUCCESSFUL. ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE EXERCISE OF COURT INTERVENTION CONCERN THE MORAL BASIS OF CRIMINAL LAWS, PRINCIPLES OF THE SEPARATION OF POWERS DOCTRINE, THE NATURE OF SECOND ORDER EVIDENCE, AND THE FINANCIAL BURDEN IMPOSED ON THE GOVERNMENT. THE ACTIVE RATIONALITY CONCEPT SHOULD COME INTO PLAY ONLY IN SENSITIVE SITUATIONS. NEVERTHELESS, ON A PRACTICAL LEVEL, IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONCEPT CAN NO LONGER BE AVOIDED AS TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES AND PROBLEMS BECOME MORE COMPLEX. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Federal government; Judicial decisions; Judicial review; Laws and Statutes
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66641

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