Is the Constitution a living document – a dynamic, progressive document open to interpretation for the good of the republic?

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Constitutional Philosophies

Constitutional construction, the process by which meanings are assigned to words to enable justifiable legal decisions, is a key concept you see repeatedly throughout legal studies. In fact, constitutional construction as created in Marbury v. Madison is the very power of the judiciary. But should the Constitution be open to interpretation? Legal scholars are divided. On one hand, originalists argue that judges and lawyers should look to the original intent of the writers of the Constitution, and not alter from that intent. On the other hand, judicial pragmatics argue that the Constitution must be able to change over time to benefit society as it evolves. Is the Constitution a living document – a dynamic, progressive document open to interpretation for the good of the republic?

 

Review Chapter 1 in your course text, Constitutional Law. Reflect on the structure, content, and balance of the Constitution.

 

Consider whether the Constitution is a living document. Should the Constitution be open to interpretation or is it only words on a page?

 

Review Chapter 1, §1.6 in your course text, Constitutional Law: National Power and Federalism. Reflect on how lawmakers, judges, and public administrators may use theories of constitutional construction (interpretation) to please their constituents.

 

Consider arguments for and against the Constitution as a living document.

 

Due by Thursday January 14, 2016 a 250-350 word argument for or against the Constitution as a living document. Justify your argument by referencing the Learning Resources for this week.

 

Support your work with specific citations from the Learning Resources. You are allowed to draw from additional sources to support your argument, but you must cite using APA stand

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