Living Constitutionalism and Interpretive Debate in the United States: Changing Interpretations on the U.S. Supreme Court

A “living constitution” is more than poetic metaphor. As a philosophical approach and interpretive methodology, it is a developing theory encompassing normative judgements and active debate over the empirical practices as justices seek to reconcile the original meaning of constitutional text with contemporary circumstances. I review the debate between interpretive and non-interpretive methodologies within the context of American constitutional theory with a focus on the views of U.S. Supreme Court Justices as to the legitimacy of living constitutionalism. The departure of Justices Scalia, a living constitutionalism critic and Kennedy, who embraced emergent rights, and addition Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. proponents of interpretive conservatism, renews the debate over living constitutionalism and its future in American jurisprudence.