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This work shows how the Supreme Court, elected government, and private citzens together shape what the Constitution means. Central to this study is the question of how the Court and elected government influence each other. In addition to the abortion debate, conflicts over federalism, race religion and separartion of powers are examined. The author contends that these constitutional disputes can be as constructive as they are inevitable. The long fight over abortion, for example has resulted in a highly workable - if imperfect - compromise, with elected government becoming more pro-choice and the Court becoming more pro-life. The Constitution is made more vital by such ongoing interchanges among the Court, elected government and the people. Without an ongoing dynamic that allows each side to win some of the time, Devin's concludes, the Constitution would be less enduring.