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Balancing

Balancing Of Competing Interests In The U.s. Supreme Court, Balancing Of Competing Interests In Other State And Federal Courts

A process sometimes used by state and federal courts in deciding between the competing interests represented in a case.

Used frequently to decide constitutional cases, balancing is one of two main legal decision-making methods, the other being categorization or STRICT CONSTRUCTION. Balancing involves weighing competing rights against each other and analyzing the relative strengths of many factors. A balancing decision is dependent upon the circumstances of each case. Therefore, the outcome is difficult to predict. By contrast, categorization is a classification and labeling process. It involves identifying a right and how it was infringed upon and analogizing these findings to a previously decided case or precedent. Hence, the outcome is more predictable.

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