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Book: The U.S. Constitution in Five Minutes

Chapter: 7. Is the Constitution What the Justices Say It Is?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43567


As the authoritative interpreters of the Constitution, Supreme Court justices have the ability to shape the Constitution to their own preferences. The justices’ policy preferences do influence how they interpret the Constitution, but several factors limit their freedom to interpret the document any way they wish.

Chapter Contributors

  • Joseph L. Smith ( - jlsmith) 'University of Alabama'