Theory of Constitutional Interpretation in Activity of U.S. Supreme Court

Cover Page

Cite item


Trying situation in U.S law system characterized of searching responsibility of U.S. Supreme Court for modern signs of crisis. The role of interpretation strengthening continuously and are research’s object. The value of this theme is in investigation of U.S. Supreme Court judicial review too. In this article author are considered interpretation as a function but not official power in accordance with text of U.S. Constitution. Practice and court opinions also investigated. Author of this article researches normative basis for interpretation: constitutional principles and other constitutional text, with amendments, constitutional precedents, and sources out of law (moral, policy, economic etc.) In the 20-th century interpretation function always provided development of American law and accommodation to new social and economic conditions too as first method. Now “extualism” and “originalism” and “judicial restraints” as main interpretivism conceptions dominated amidst of current Justices as new method. On the one side the contradiction between the two methods is danger of stability American law. On the other side two different views to interpretation is permanent long-term attribute. To speak more generally and in accordance the author’s opinion to review and change the results of historic interpretation is impossible.

About the authors

Vladimir N Safonov

Russian Academy of Justice

Author for correspondence.
69, Novocheremushkinskaya st., Moscow, Russia, 117418


  1. Zhidkov OA, editor; Lafitsky VI, сontributor. SShA. Konstitutsiya i zakonodatel'nye akty [The USA. Constitution and legislation]. Moscow: Progress-Univers; 1993. 768 p. (In Russian).
  2. Lafitsky VI. Constitutional system of the USA. 2nd ed. Moscow: Statut; 2011. 349 р. (In Russian).
  3. Ely JH. Democracy and Distrust. A Theory of Judicial Review. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; 1980. 268 p.
  4. Fuller L. The Morality of Law. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1964. viii, 202 p. [Russ. ed. Fuller L. Moral' prava. Moscow: IRISEN; 2016. 308 p.].
  5. Rossum RA. Antonin Scalia’s Jurisprudence. Text and Tradition. Lawrence, KS: Kansas University Press; 2006. 298 p.
  6. Scalia A.A. Matter of Interpretation. Federal Court and a Law. Gutmann A, editor. New Jersey: Princeton University Press; 1999. 156 p.
  7. Lindquist SA, Cross FB. Measuring Judicial Activism. New York: Oxford University Press; 2009. 176 p. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195370850.001.0001.
  8. White GE. The Constitution and the New Deal. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; 2000. 385 p.
  9. Burnham W. Introduction to the law and legal system of the United States. St. Paul, Minn: West Publishing; 1995. 567 p. [Russ. ed. Burnham W. Pravovaya sistema SShA. Мoscow: Novaya yustitsiya Publ.; 2006. 1211 p.]
  10. Crump D., Gressman E., Day D. Cases and Materials on Constitutional Law. 3rd ed. New York: Matthew and Bender; 1998. 1085 p.
  11. Bickel AМ. The Supreme Court and the Idea of Progress. New York: Harper&Row; 1970. xii, 210 р.
  12. Commons RJ. Legal Foundations of Capitalism. New York: The Macmillan Company; 1924. 324 p. [Rus. ed. Commons RJ. Pravovye osnovaniya kapitalizma. Moscow: HSE Publishing House; 2011. 413 p.]
  13. Dorf MC, Morrison TW. The Oxford Introduction to U.S. Law. Constitutional Law. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press; 2010. xi, 254 p.
  14. Chemerinsky E. The Conservative Assault on the Constitution. New York: Simon & Schuster; 2010. 326 p.
  15. Burns JM. Packing the Court. The Rise of judicial Power and the coming crisis of the Supreme Court. New York: The Penguin Press; 2009. 326 p.
  16. Cass. SR. Radical in Robes: Why Extreme Right Courts Are Wrong for America? New York: Basic Books; 2005. xv, 281 p.
  17. Lamond G. Analogical Reasoning in the Common Law. Oxford J Legal Studies. 2014;34(3):567–588. doi: 10.1093/ojls/gqu014.
  18. Zhidkov OA. Izbrannye trudy [Selected works]. Muromtsev GI, Trikoz EN, editors. Moscow: Norma; 2006. 606 p. (In Russian).
  19. Dworkin R. Justice for Hedgehogs. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; 2011. xi, 506 p.

Copyright (c) 2017 Safonov V.N.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies