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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel Aug 2016

The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel

Randy J Kozel

The scope of Supreme Court precedent is capacious. Justices of the Court commonly defer to sweeping rationales and elaborate doctrinal frameworks articulated by their predecessors. This practice infuses judicial precedent with the prescriptive power of enacted constitutional and statutory text. The lower federal courts follow suit, regularly abiding by the Supreme Court's broad pronouncements. These phenomena cannot be explained by—and, indeed, oftentimes subvert—the classic distinction between binding holdings and dispensable dicta.

This Article connects the scope of precedent with recurring and foundational debates about the proper ends of judicial interpretation. A precedent's forward-looking effect should not ...


Precedent And Legal Authority: A Critical History, Charles W. Collier Aug 2015

Precedent And Legal Authority: A Critical History, Charles W. Collier

Charles W. Collier

In this Article, Professor Charles Collier traces out a general theory of precedential authority through historical sources. The Article focuses on three particularly influential views of precedent: Wambaugh's concept of dictum, Oliphant's concept of stare decisis, and Goodhart's concept of ratio decidendi. These views illustrate an underlying tension between two distinct doctrines of precedential authority. The first doctrine, derived from humanistic thought, restricts-legal authority as narrowly as possible to the express terms of an original text. The second doctrine draws on the broad, generalizing tendencies of the empirical sciences and their corresponding conceptions of scientific authority. The ...


Overruling Precedent: "A Derelict In The Stream Of The Law", Michael Leroy Jul 2013

Overruling Precedent: "A Derelict In The Stream Of The Law", Michael Leroy

Michael H LeRoy

Will the Supreme Court overrule Hoffman Plastic Compounds v. N.L.R.B., 535 U.S. 137 (2002), its precedent that treats unlawful alien workers as criminals and denies them backpay for a violation of a labor law? More generally, what are the statistical indicators of a precedent that the Supreme Court overrules— and how well does Hoffman Plastic fit that profile? To answer these research questions, I analyze two unique databases— 128 federal and state rulings from 2002-2012 that involved Hoffman Plastic’s remedy issue, and a sample of 154 Supreme Court pairings of an overruled precedent, and the ...


Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophy Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Donald J. Kochan, Melissa M. Berry, Matthew J. Parlow Dec 2007

Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophy Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Donald J. Kochan, Melissa M. Berry, Matthew J. Parlow

Donald J. Kochan

Conflicts created by concurrences and pluralities in court decisions create confusion in law and lower court interpretation. Rule of law values require that individuals be able to identify controlling legal principles. That task is complicated when pluralities and concurrences contribute to the vagueness or uncertainty that leaves us wondering what the controlling rule is or attempting to predict what it will evolve to become. The rule of law is at least handicapped when continuity or confidence or confusion infuse our understanding of the applicable rules. This Article uses the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States ...


Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophony Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Matthew J. Parlow, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2007

Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophony Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Matthew J. Parlow, Donald J. Kochan

Matthew Parlow

Conflicts created by concurrences and pluralities in court decisions create confusion in law and lower court interpretation. Rule of law values require that individuals be able to identify controlling legal principles. That task is complicated when pluralities and concurrences contribute to the vagueness or uncertainty that leaves us wondering what the controlling rule is or attempting to predict what it will evolve to become. The rule of law is at least handicapped when continuity or confidence or confusion infuse our understanding of the applicable rules. This Article uses the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States ...