07/22/2014 05:59 pm ET Updated Jul 22, 2014

Supreme Court Justice Calls Constitution A 'Flawed Document'


Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy conceded Thursday that the Constitution is not meant to be interpreted in its original, literal state, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

In a speech at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in Monterey, Calif., Kennedy asserted that the authors intentionally used general language so that guiding principles could steer lawmakers tackling present-day issues.

“The Constitution of the United States is a flawed document,” he said, pointing to original text allowing for slavery. “The framers were wise enough to know that they could not foresee the injustices” of the future.

The swing justice -- who in 2008 voted in the majority to overturn a handgun ban in Washington, D.C. -- continued to say he is “not so sure” about whether the second amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms.

Since voting in June to uphold a law banning the purchase of guns for others, he has painted himself as a possible middleman in the ongoing gun control debate.