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Study Notes

Loose Constructionism

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Loose Constructionism is the judicial philosophy whereby the Constitution is interpreted loosely, typically reading between the lines, to extract a meaning.

When practicing loose constructionism, justices will take an issue and look at the context of it, and then at the constitution. Justices that are described as loose constructionists tend to favour Federal Government power over that of states power and rights. They tend to be labelled as liberals.

The belief that the Constitution should be interpreted in this way originates from the idea that when writing the Constitution, it was left deliberately vague so that it could be interpreted in this way, to allow it to be flexible. In addition to this is the belief that the Founding Fathers would not have known how the modern world would have looked, so wanted the Constitution to be interpreted in the present day.

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