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Precedent

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Institution
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Articles 1 - 30 of 99

Full-Text Articles in Law

Revisiting The Precedential Status Of Crown Court Decisions, Kwan Ho Lau Sep 2020

Revisiting The Precedential Status Of Crown Court Decisions, Kwan Ho Lau

Research Collection School Of Law

The binding authority of substantive decisions made by the Crown Court in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction is often assumed to be negligible. In 2013, the Court of Appeal appeared to confirm the correctness of that assumption. Yet there was little in the way of explanation or case law that was cited in support by the court. This article suggests that a re-evaluation of the place and treatment of such decisions within the doctrine of precedent is overdue, and considers that they should be recognised to have some binding effect if there is able to be established a reasonably ...


Judicial Precedent In Emerging Constitutional Jurisdictions: Formulating A Doctrine Of Constitutional Stare Decisis For Singapore, Wei Yao, Kenny Chng Jun 2020

Judicial Precedent In Emerging Constitutional Jurisdictions: Formulating A Doctrine Of Constitutional Stare Decisis For Singapore, Wei Yao, Kenny Chng

Research Collection School Of Law

Judicial precedents in constitutional law raiseunique stare decisis considerations. While they are authoritative pronouncementson the proper interpretation of the Constitution and are thus an essentialcomponent of constitutional law, they are also merely judicial precedents – andthus susceptible to being overturned. These considerations have been thesubject of a well-developed body of literature, especially in the context of USSupreme Court constitutional precedents.Yet, despite being a constitutional supremacy, little attention has beenpaid in Singapore to the question of the proper judicial approach towardsconstitutional precedents. This paper aims to address this issue. It will discernthe de facto principles that Singapore judges have thus far ...


Vertical Stare Decisis And Three-Judge District Courts, Michael T. Morley Feb 2020

Vertical Stare Decisis And Three-Judge District Courts, Michael T. Morley

Scholarly Publications

Three-judge federal district courts have jurisdiction over many issues central to our democratic system, including constitutional challenges to congressional and legislative districts, as well as to certain federal campaign-finance statutes. They are similarly responsible for enforcing key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Litigants often have the right to appeal their rulings directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Because of this unusual appellate process, courts and commentators disagree on whether such three-judge district court panels are bound by circuit precedent or instead are free to adjudicate these critical issues constrained only by U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

The applicability ...


Disruptive Construction Or Constructive Destruction? Reflections On The Appellate Body Crisis, Henry S. Gao Jan 2020

Disruptive Construction Or Constructive Destruction? Reflections On The Appellate Body Crisis, Henry S. Gao

Research Collection School Of Law

Over the past few months, the blockage of the Appellate Body appointment process by the United State (hereinafter U.S.) has emerged as the biggest existential threat to the World Trade Organization (hereinafter WTO). In response to the criticisms from other WTO Members, the U.S. justified its action as a way to raise people’s attention on long-standing problems in the Appellate Body (hereinafter AB). Are the U.S. criticisms valid? Even if assuming that the U.S. allegations are correct, is the specific approach that the U.S. has taken legitimate? Drawing from both the treaty text and ...


Law School News: Broadening The Perspective 12/04/2019, Michael M. Bowden Dec 2019

Law School News: Broadening The Perspective 12/04/2019, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


The Race Horse That Wouldn't Die: On Herrera V. Wyoming, Benjamin Cantor May 2019

The Race Horse That Wouldn't Die: On Herrera V. Wyoming, Benjamin Cantor

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

In Herrera v. Wyoming, the Supreme Court is considering how to reconcile the Crow Tribe’s hunting right with Wyoming’s sovereignty. This endeavor requires examining nineteenth-century treaties and precedents to decipher the intents of the Crow Tribe and the United States government. If the Court’s decision includes a clear articulation of whether Native American treaty rights may be truncated by mere implication, tribes nationwide may be at risk of losing treaty rights they have enjoyed for centuries. In making its decision, the Supreme Court will also have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of overturning precedent and of ...


Statutory Interpretation, Administrative Deference, And The Law Of Stare Decisis, Randy J. Kozel May 2019

Statutory Interpretation, Administrative Deference, And The Law Of Stare Decisis, Randy J. Kozel

Journal Articles

This Article examines three facets of the relationship between statutory interpretation and the law of stare decisis: judicial interpretation, administrative interpretation, and interpretive methodology. In analyzing these issues, I emphasize the role of stare decisis in pursuing balance between past and present. That role admits of no distinction between statutory and constitutional decisions, calling into question the practice of giving superstrong deference to judicial interpretations of statutes. The pursuit of balance also suggests that one Supreme Court cannot bind future Justices to a wide-ranging interpretive methodology. As for rules requiring deference to administrative interpretations of statutes and regulations, they are ...


Precedent And Dialogue In Investment Treaty Arbitration, Richard C. Chen Jan 2019

Precedent And Dialogue In Investment Treaty Arbitration, Richard C. Chen

Faculty Publications

Since the turn of the century, investment treaty arbitration (ITA) tribunals have begun citing past decisions with increasing frequency. They do so despite the absence of any formal doctrine of stare decisis and the presence of structural obstacles to the use of precedent in this context. Scholarship in this area has focused on explaining the rise of this de facto doctrine of precedent and evaluating the merits of the practice. Few have grappled with more practical questions about how precedent should operate in this unique sphere, but even a cursory examination of ITA decisions would reveal that some order and ...


Legal Sets, Jeremy N. Sheff Jan 2019

Legal Sets, Jeremy N. Sheff

Faculty Publications

In this Article, I propose that the practices of legal reasoning and analysis are helpfully understood as being primarily concerned not with rules or propositions, but with sets. This Article develops a formal model of the role of sets in the practices of legal actors in a common-law system defined by a recursive relationship between cases and rules. In doing so, it demonstrates how conceiving of legal doctrines as a universe of discourse comprising (sometimes nested or overlapping) sets of cases can clarify the logical structure that governs marginal cases and help organize the available options for resolving such cases ...


Justice Gorsuch's Views On Precedent In The Context Of Statutory Interpretation, Hillel Y. Levin Jan 2019

Justice Gorsuch's Views On Precedent In The Context Of Statutory Interpretation, Hillel Y. Levin

Scholarly Works

The doctrine of precedent, in its stare decisis form, presents a challenge to any originalist. This doctrine provides that a court should (at least sometimes) be bound by its own precedent, even if that precedent was wrongly decided in the first place. Yet if the original meaning of the text at issue is a judge’s focus, why should an intervening decision of the court—and a mistaken one at that— matter at all? Despite this tension, every originalist also at least purports to care about precedent.

This Essay focuses on Justice Gorsuch’s apparent views on precedent in the ...


Originalist Theory And Precedent: A Public Meaning Approach, Lawrence B. Solum Oct 2018

Originalist Theory And Precedent: A Public Meaning Approach, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Much ink has already been spilled on the relationship of constitutional originalism to precedent (or, more specifically, the doctrine of stare decisis). The debate includes contributions from Randy Barnett, Steven Calabresi, Kurt Lash, Gary Lawson, John McGinnis with Michael Rappaport, Michael Paulsen, and Lee Strang, not to mention Justice Antonin Scalia—all representing originalism in some form. Living constitutionalism has also been represented both implicitly and explicitly, with important contributions from Phillip Bobbitt, Ronald Dworkin, Michael Gerhardt, Randy Kozel, and David Strauss. Some writers are more difficult to classify; Akhil Amar comes to mind. And there are many other contributions ...


Special Justifications, Randy J. Kozel Oct 2018

Special Justifications, Randy J. Kozel

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court commonly asks whether there is a “special justification” for departing from precedent. In this Response, which is part of a Constitutional Commentary symposium on Settled Versus Right: A Theory of Precedent, I examine the existing law of special justifications and describe its areas of uncertainty. I also compare the Court’s current doctrine with a revised approach to special justifications designed to separate the question of overruling from deeper disagreements about legal interpretation. The aspiration is to establish precedent as a unifying force that enhances the impersonality of the Court and of the law, promoting values the ...


Mostly Settled, But Right For Now, Corinna Lain Jan 2018

Mostly Settled, But Right For Now, Corinna Lain

Law Faculty Publications

Randy Kozel’s book, Settled Versus Right: A Theory of Precedent, is a laudable effort to make the law more stable, more cohesive, more impersonal — an effort to show that the law can endure even as Justices come and go. The core of his contribution is a proposed doctrine of stare decisis that disentangles deference to precedent from the interpretive methodologies that led to the precedent in the first place, and that so often determine the amount of deference a precedent gets. As a purely doctrinal project, Settled Versus Right naturally assumes that if we fix the doctrine, we’ll ...


Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2018

Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Suppose that one of us contends, and the other denies, that transgender persons have constitutional rights to be treated in accord with their gender identity. It appears that we are disagreeing about “what the law is.” And, most probably, we disagree about what the law is on this matter because we disagree about what generally makes it the case that our constitutional law is this rather than that.

Constitutional theory should provide guidance. It should endeavor to explain what gives our constitutional rules the contents that they have, or what makes true constitutional propositions true. Call any such account a ...


Precedent And Constitutional Structure, Randy J. Kozel Jan 2018

Precedent And Constitutional Structure, Randy J. Kozel

Journal Articles

The Constitution does not talk about precedent, at least not explicitly, but several of its features suggest a place for deference to prior decisions. It isolates the judicial function and insulates federal courts from official and electoral control, promoting a vision of impersonality and continuity. It charges courts with applying a charter that is vague and ambiguous in important respects. And it was enacted at a time when prominent thinkers were already discussing the use of precedent to channel judicial discretion. Taken in combination, these features make deference to precedent a sound inference from the Constitution’s structure, text, and ...


To Speak Or Not To Speak, That Is Your Liberty: Janus V. Afscme, David Forte Jan 2018

To Speak Or Not To Speak, That Is Your Liberty: Janus V. Afscme, David Forte

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

Some Supreme Court precedents go through extensive death spasms before being interred. Lochner v. New York, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce come to mind. Others like Chisholm v. Georgia and Minersville School District v. Gobitis incurred a swift and summary execution. Still others, overtaken by subsequent cases, remain wraith-like presences among the Court’s past acts: Beauharnais v. Illinois and Buck v. Bell, for example, remain “on the books.”


Precedent And Speech, Randy J. Kozel Feb 2017

Precedent And Speech, Randy J. Kozel

Journal Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court has shown a notable willingness to reconsider its First Amendment precedents. In recent years the Court has departed from its prior statements regarding the constitutional value of false speech. It has revamped its process for identifying categorical exceptions to First Amendment protection. It has changed its position on corporate electioneering and aggregate campaign contributions. In short, it has revised the ground rules of expressive freedom in ways both large and small.

The Court generally describes its past decisions as enjoying a presumption of validity through the doctrine of stare decisis. This Article contends that within ...


The Highest Court: A Dialogue Between Justice Louis Brandeis And Justice Antonin Scalia On Stare Decisis, P. Thomas Distanislao, Iii Jan 2017

The Highest Court: A Dialogue Between Justice Louis Brandeis And Justice Antonin Scalia On Stare Decisis, P. Thomas Distanislao, Iii

Law Student Publications

The scene is the main reading room in the Supreme Court library. It is 12:01 AM on a Thursday night, and a hapless law clerk' named Madison Nomos' is working on a draft of a dissenting opinion for his Justice. Specifically, Nomos is researching whether an earlier Supreme Court case- one with which his Justice vehemently disagrees- should play a significant role in the Court's analysis of an issue that has gripped the nation. Nomos's Justice was recently confirmed, and this will be her first opportunity to firmly state her views on stare decisis in the Supreme ...


Crafting Precedent, Richard C. Chen Jan 2017

Crafting Precedent, Richard C. Chen

Faculty Publications

(with the Hon. Paul J. Watford & Marco Basile)

How does the law of judicial precedent work in practice? That is the question at the heart of The Law of Judicial Precedent, a recent treatise by Bryan Garner and twelve distinguished appellate judges. The treatise sets aside more theoretical and familiar questions about whether and why earlier decisions (especially wrong ones) should bind courts in new cases. Instead, it offers an exhaustive how-to guide for practicing lawyers and judges: how to identify relevant precedents, how to weigh them, and how to interpret them. This Review takes up the treatise on its ...


The Disparate Impact Canon, Michael T. Morley Jan 2017

The Disparate Impact Canon, Michael T. Morley

Scholarly Publications

No abstract provided.


After The Override: An Empirical Analysis Of Shadow Precedent, Deborah A. Widiss, Brian J. Broughman Jan 2017

After The Override: An Empirical Analysis Of Shadow Precedent, Deborah A. Widiss, Brian J. Broughman

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Congressional overrides of prior judicial interpretations of statutory language are typically de­fined as equivalent to judicial overrulings, and they are presumed to play a central role in maintaining legislative supremacy. Our study is the first to empirically test these assumptions. Using a differences-in-differences research design, we find that citation levels decrease far less after legislative overrides than after judicial overrulings. This pattern holds true even when controlling for depth of the superseding event or considering only the specific proposition that was superseded. Moreover, contrary to what one might expect, citation levels decrease more quickly after restorative overrides—in which ...


Justice Scalia, The Nondelegation Doctrine, And Constitutional Argument, William K. Kelley Jan 2017

Justice Scalia, The Nondelegation Doctrine, And Constitutional Argument, William K. Kelley

Journal Articles

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote two major opinions considering the nondelegation doctrine. In Whitman v. American Trucking Associations, he accepted and applied a very broad, indeed virtually unlimited, view of Congress's power to delegate authority to administrative agencies that was consistent with the Court's precedents since the New Deal. In his dissent in Mistretta v. United States, however, he concluded that the constitutional structure formally barred the delegation of naked rulemaking power to an agency that was untethered to other law execution tasks. This essay analyzes Justice Scalia's nondelegation jurisprudence in light of the general jurisprudential commitments he ...


Newsroom: Kuckes On Discovery Ruling 7-7-2016, Sheri Qualters, Roger Williams University School Of Law Jul 2016

Newsroom: Kuckes On Discovery Ruling 7-7-2016, Sheri Qualters, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Precedent Revisited: Carter V Canada (Ag) And The Contemporary Practice Of Precedent, Debra Parkes Jan 2016

Precedent Revisited: Carter V Canada (Ag) And The Contemporary Practice Of Precedent, Debra Parkes

Faculty Publications

In addition to the important substantive changes to Canadian law brought about by Carter v Canada (AG), the decision is significant for its consideration of the doctrine of stare decisis. This article examines the circumstances under which Canadian courts, including courts lower in the relevant hierarchy, might be entitled to revisit otherwise binding, higher court precedents and to depart from them. At least in constitutional cases, the Carter trial decision affirms that trial judges may reconsider rulings of higher courts where a new legal issue is raised or where there is a change in circumstances or evidence that “fundamentally shifts ...


Congressional Originalism, John Copeland` Nagle, Amy Coney Barrett Jan 2016

Congressional Originalism, John Copeland` Nagle, Amy Coney Barrett

Journal Articles

Precedent poses a notoriously difficult problem for originalists. Some decisions – so-called super precedents – are so well baked into government that reversing them would wreak havoc. Originalists have been pressed to either acknowledge that their theory could generate major disruption or identify a principled exception to their insistence that judges are bound to enforce the Constitution’s original public meaning. The problem is especially acute for an originalist member of Congress. While the stylized process of adjudication narrows the questions presented to the Court, in Congress the question of a measure’s constitutionality is always on the table. And because framing ...


Congressional Originalism, Amy Coney Barrett, John Copeland` Nagle Jan 2016

Congressional Originalism, Amy Coney Barrett, John Copeland` Nagle

Journal Articles

Precedent poses a notoriously difficult problem for originalists. Some decisions – so-called super precedents – are so well baked into government that reversing them would wreak havoc. Originalists have been pressed to either acknowledge that their theory could generate major disruption or identify a principled exception to their insistence that judges are bound to enforce the Constitution’s original public meaning. While the stylized process of adjudication narrows the questions presented to the Court, in Congress the question of a measure’s constitutionality is always on the table. And because framing constraints do not narrow the relevant and permissible grounds of decision ...


Fit, Justification, And Fidelity In Constitutional Interpretation, James Fleming Mar 2015

Fit, Justification, And Fidelity In Constitutional Interpretation, James Fleming

Faculty Scholarship

Ronald Dworkin famously argued that the best interpretation of a Constitution should both fit and justify the legal materials, for example, the text, original meaning, and precedents. In his recent book, Against Obligation (Harvard University Press, 2012), Abner S. Greene provocatively and creatively bucks the tendencies of constitutional theorists to profess fidelity with the past in constitutional interpretation. He rejects originalist understandings of obligation to follow original meaning in interpreting the Constitution. And indeed he rejects interpretive obligation to follow precedent. In this Essay I focus on Greene’s arguments against interpretive obligation to the past, in particular, his argument ...


Original Meaning And The Precedent Fallback, Randy J. Kozel Jan 2015

Original Meaning And The Precedent Fallback, Randy J. Kozel

Journal Articles

There is longstanding tension between originalism and judicial precedent. With its resolute focus on deciphering the enacted Constitution, the originalist methodology raises questions about whether judges can legitimately defer to their own pronouncements. Numerous scholars have responded by debating whether and when the Constitution’s original meaning should yield to contrary precedent.

This Article considers the role of judicial precedent not when it conflicts with the Constitution’s original meaning but rather when the consultation of text and historical evidence is insufficient to resolve a case. In those situations, deference to precedent can serve as a fallback rule of constitutional ...


Theorizing Precedent In International Law, Harlan G. Cohen Jan 2015

Theorizing Precedent In International Law, Harlan G. Cohen

Scholarly Works

Precedent presents a puzzle for international law. As a matter of doctrine, judicial decisions construing international law are not-in-and-of themselves law. They are not binding on future parties in future cases, even before the same tribunal. And yet, international precedent is everywhere. From international investment to international criminal law to international human rights to international trade, prior decisions are invoked, argued over, and applied as precedents by practitioners and by tribunals.

How and why do certain interpretations of international law take on the weight of precedent, reshaping international law arguments around them, while others do not? This chapter develops a ...


Inferiority Complex: Should State Courts Follow Lower Federal Court Precedent On The Meaning Of Federal Law?, Amanda Frost Jan 2015

Inferiority Complex: Should State Courts Follow Lower Federal Court Precedent On The Meaning Of Federal Law?, Amanda Frost

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

The conventional wisdom is that state courts need not follow lower federal court precedent when interpreting federal law. Upon closer inspection, however, the question of how state courts should treat lower federal court precedent is not so clear. Although most state courts now take the conventional approach, a few contend that they are obligated to follow the lower federal courts, and two federal courts of appeals have declared that their decisions are binding on state courts. The Constitution’s text and structure send mixed messages about the relationship between state and lower federal courts, and the Supreme Court has never ...