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What is a loose constructionist?

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A loose constructionist views the U.S. Constitution as a document whose interpretation should change as society changes, according to Cornell University Legal Information Institute. A Supreme Court Justice with a loose constructionist view analyzes cases under the context of the current societal standards.

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For a loose constructionist, ambiguity in the U.S. Constitution allows the document to apply to the evolving viewpoints and needs of society, according to the University of South Carolina at Aiken. An example of loose constructionism includes the change in interpretation of cruel and unusual punishment in the U.S. Constitution to exclude certain capital punishment methods. Loose constructionists stand in opposition to strict constructionists who believe in a literal interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, according to Cornell University Legal Information Institute.

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