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broad construction

A theory of interpretation of the Constitution that holds that the spirit of the times, the values of the justices, and the needs of the nation may legitimately influence the decisions of a court, particularly the Supreme Court. Sometimes called judicial activism. (See Earl Warren.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.