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2014

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Stare Decisis

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Against Methodological Stare Decisis, Evan J. Criddle, Glen Staszewski Jun 2014

Against Methodological Stare Decisis, Evan J. Criddle, Glen Staszewski

Faculty Publications

Should federal courts give stare decisis effect to statutory interpretation methodology? Although a growing number of legal scholars have answered this question in the affirmative, this Essay makes the case against methodological stare decisis. Drawing on recent empirical studies of Congress’s expectations regarding statutory interpretation, we show that existing knowledge of Congress’s expectations is insufficient to settle on one consistent approach to statutory interpretation. Moreover, Congress has almost certainly changed its expectations over time, and this raises serious problems for methodological stare decisis from the perspective of faithful-agency theories. We argue further that many theories and doctrines of ...