Originally posted by Doreking: How exactly is Brown vs. Board judicial activism? It's been a long time since I read that case, and I'm not sure I ever did. But I am aware it prohibits having separate but equal/segregated schools.
The schools, of course, weren't equal. The constitution plainly states that laws treat people equally. It seems that's what the decision was all about. So how is that activism? Sure it changed the policy, but it changed the policy in accord with the constitution, and not for policy reasons.
The court went against its principal of stare decisis and overruled Plessy v. Ferguson. That case determined that "separate but equal" was legal and didn't violate the 14th amendment. The decision wasn't based on any law passed by Congress; it was passed because the justices believed it was the right thing to do even though it went against the long established precedent created by Plessy and the cases that followed.