• Stare Decisis: Precedent vs the Constitution
    Articles,  Blog

    Stare Decisis: Precedent vs the Constitution

    Precedent does not trump the constitution, even when the court says it does. Stare decisis is Latin for “to stand by things decided.” In short, it is the doctrine of precedent. According to the Supreme Court, stare decisis “promotes the evenhanded, predictable, and consistent development of legal principles, fosters reliance on judicial decisions, and contributes to the actual and perceived integrity of the judicial process.” In practice, it is the judicial policy of sometimes adhering to a prior decision even when it was wrong. As the majority put it in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood vs Casey, it is the practice of adhering to a prior decision “whether or…

  • Stare Decisis: Overturning Supreme Court Precedents [No. 86]
    Articles,  Blog

    Stare Decisis: Overturning Supreme Court Precedents [No. 86]

    The Supreme Court overturns its precedents rather less often than is thought, and that’s been especially true of the Roberts Court, although, in the last term, the Court overturned three of its precedents, which was quite rare for that Court. It did so in the Janus v. AFSCME case when it overturned the Abood Decision. It did so in the Wayfair case, which involved the taxation of internet sales by out-of-state vendors, which overturned the Quill case, and it did so implicitly at least in Trump v. Hawaii, in which the court found that the infamous Korematsu case was no longer good law. But again, this is an exception where…