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Making the Court Come to Life: Developing Effective Judicial Politics Simulations
Unformatted Document Text:  Ayotte sets out a three-point instruction for district courts in regard to the implementation of remedies and enjoinments on constitutional issues. 60 The first component is that a district court must not “nullify more of a legislature’s work than is necessary” to remedy the violation. The second component requires that a court must “restrain [itself] from rewriting state law to conform it to constitutional requirements.” This second requirement also mandates that a court must scrupulously observe that limitation when operating “in a murky constitutional context, or where line-drawing is inherently complex,” because failure to do so would entail a “serious invasion of the legislative domain.” The third requirement is that “the touchstone for any decision about remedy is legislative intent.” 61 [[[Ayotte through Second Circuit Opinion]]] The court has far overstepped its bounds, as its order to implement a primary system runs contrary to the second and third principles set forth in Ayotte. In exploring the first principle mandated by Ayotte, the Second Circuit Court held that to only invalidate the election system in certain counties or jurisdictions would leave the state’s election system in an unacceptable “patchwork of chaos.” 62 Petitioners do not contest this aspect of the holding. The second principle deals explicitly with judicial restraint in cases with questions such as those raised here. Justice O’Connor, writing for the court in Ayotte, held that the court must restrain itself from rewriting state law to induce conformity to state laws. 63 Justice O’Connor also wrote that while the court may make specific judgments regarding the minutiae of statutes in some cases, making those same distinctions in a case with a “murky constitutional context, or where line-drawing is inherently complex, may call for a ‘far more serious invasion of the 60 546 U.S. (2006). Slip opinion 61 Id, at 6 – 10. 62 Id, at 7. 63 Id, at 7.

Authors: Caufield, Rachel.
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Ayotte sets out a three-point instruction for district courts in regard to the implementation of
remedies and enjoinments on constitutional issues.
The first component is that a district court
must not “nullify more of a legislature’s work than is necessary” to remedy the violation. The
second component requires that a court must “restrain [itself] from rewriting state law to
conform it to constitutional requirements.” This second requirement also mandates that a court
must scrupulously observe that limitation when operating “in a murky constitutional context, or
where line-drawing is inherently complex,” because failure to do so would entail a “serious
invasion of the legislative domain.” The third requirement is that “the touchstone for any
decision about remedy is legislative intent.”
[[[Ayotte through Second Circuit Opinion]]] The
court has far overstepped its bounds, as its order to implement a primary system runs contrary to
the second and third principles set forth in Ayotte.
In exploring the first principle mandated by Ayotte, the Second Circuit Court held that to
only invalidate the election system in certain counties or jurisdictions would leave the state’s
election system in an unacceptable “patchwork of chaos.”
Petitioners do not contest this aspect
of the holding.
The second principle deals explicitly with judicial restraint in cases with questions such
as those raised here. Justice O’Connor, writing for the court in Ayotte, held that the court must
restrain itself from rewriting state law to induce conformity to state laws.
Justice O’Connor
also wrote that while the court may make specific judgments regarding the minutiae of statutes in
some cases, making those same distinctions in a case with a “murky constitutional context, or
where line-drawing is inherently complex, may call for a ‘far more serious invasion of the
60
546 U.S. (2006). Slip opinion
61
Id, at 6 – 10.
62
Id, at 7.
63
Id, at 7.


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