Which one of the following, if true, would lend the most credence to the author's statement in lines 56-58?

on November 5, 2019

C and A

I chose C, because I thought if other courts adopted a more expansive view of the current law, this ruling in 1984 is actually not conservative. If past rulings distinguished between the right to use and right to sell, then this ruling in 1984 is consistent with the past rulings, and thus conservative. By conservative, I thought it should follow what has been established in the past, and conform to the rest. If other courts ruled differently, doesn't that make this ruling not conservative? Am I misunderstanding the definition of conservative?

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Irina on November 5, 2019


It does look like you are misusing "conservative." The question is asking us to strengthen the author's claim in lines 56-58 [h]ere, the provincial ruling was excessively conservative in its assessment of the current law." This statement refers to a ruling that interprets ownership as only the right to use the land as opposed to full ownership in a contemporary sense of private property, which allows for the sale of the land and resources."Conservative" generally means interpreting the law in a narrow sense - "ownership" means only use of the land as opposed to unrestricted right to sell/ transfer etc the land, it is not necessary for the ruling to conform to prior rulings to be "conservative," on the contrary, if a ruling involves an unusually narrow interpretation not typically adopted by other courts, it could be seen as overly conservative.

The fact that the other courts had previously interpreted "use" to include the sale of the land or its resources (A) supports the claim that this court adopted an overly narrow definition of "ownership" in contrast to other broader interpretations. (C) is irrelevant to the claim because even if it is true that prior courts have distinguished the right to use from the right to sell, we cannot infer whether these courts ruled that aboriginal people possessed both rights or only the right to use - if we were to assume that these courts similarly only granted the right to use, then the 1984 ruling would not stand out as excessively conservative but would be in line with prior decisions.

Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any further questions.