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The Supreme Court -- Glossary

liberal (judicial)
A judicial philosophy that believes federal courts should actively review laws and government actions to guarantee that they have a positive impact on the welfare of the nation.

liberal (political)
A fluid term that has meant different things in different historical periods and in different countries. In contemporary America it is most often associated with a political philosophy that emphasizes individual liberties and advocates the use of government powers to achieve economic and social ends.

liberal (social)
The philosophy that society should be as tolerant and inclusive as possible of those who deviate from central cultural standards.

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