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Living Constitution

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Judgepedia:WikiProject Terms and Definitions

The term Living Constitution is commonly used to describe the belief that the Constitution of the United States has relevant meaning beyond the original text and is an evolving document that changes over time.[1]

Supporting arguments

Stephen Breyer

In 2003, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said on ABC News This Week with George Stephanopolus, in support of a living constitution: "Through commerce, through globalization, through the spread of democratic institutions, through immigration to America, it's becoming more and more one world of many different kinds of people. And how they're going to live together across the world will be the challenge, and whether our Constitution and how it fits into the governing documents of other nations, I think will be a challenge for the next generation."[2]

Opposing arguments

Antonin Scalia

During a lecture at Princeton on February 23, 2001, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia explained his opposition to a living constitution. Justice Scalia interprets his judicial philosophy as interpreting the Constitution according to the "common sense" meaning and definition of the document's words at the time they were written.

See also