The U.S. Court has exercised enormous influence on American society throughout its history. Although the Court is considered the guardian of the Constitution, the Constitution does not specifically set forth the Court's power to strike down federal or state legislation, nor does it provide guidance on how this power should be applied. In this critical examination of Supreme Court opinions, Bernard Siegan argues that the Court has frequently ruled both contrary to and without guidance from Constitutional meaning and purpose. He concludes that the U.S. Supreme Court has increasingly become more the maker than the interpreter of fundamental law. The author offers a detailed analysis of the Constitution and numerous Supreme Court cases involving controversial issues ranging from the line between federal and state powers to the validity of measures according to preferential treatment for minorities and women. The book is essential reading for everyone interested in understanding the differences between activist and literalist traditions in the high court.