Political Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 99–121

Chess algorithms of supreme court decision making: A bioconstitutional politics analysis

  • Ira H. Carmen

DOI: 10.1007/BF00992490

Cite this article as:
Carmen, I.H. Polit Behav (1989) 11: 99. doi:10.1007/BF00992490


This paper examines, from a biopolitical perspective, the methodologies by which Supreme Court justices have interpreted the Constitution, assessing their decisional algorithms against models owing an intellectual debt to evolutionary theory. The models themselves are drawn from the chess literature, itself the most viable game theoretic context for “living constitutional” play. A proper appreciation of chess mastery yields the salient conclusion that a functionalist algorithm of data characterization is optimally adaptive for these purposes, usually proving more robust than competing structuralist and heuristic algorithms in resolving complex constitutional issues.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ira H. Carmen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of IllinoisUrbana