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Judiciary
Judicial Philosophy
Nominees for U.S. courts are frequently labeled as subscribing to one of two judicial philosophies - either Originalism, sometimes called Constructionalism, or The Living Constitution. Those subscribing to The Living Constitution are, by definition, activists. Those who subscribe to Originalism are "restrained" by the actual words utilized in the Constitution. The difference between activist and restrained philosophies has frequently been extrapolated to conservative vs. liberal political philosophy. But this appears to be untrue. A recent review of U.S. Supreme Court decisions of the Rehnquist Court has found that the most conservative justices are the most activist and the most liberal justices are the least activist. However, it appears from the writings of Alexander Hamilton that it was the intent of the writers of the Constitution that the judiciary be "independent" so they can act in an activist manner when necessary.

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