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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Stare Decisis As Judicial Doctrine, Randy J. Kozel Aug 2016

Stare Decisis As Judicial Doctrine, Randy J. Kozel

Randy J Kozel

Stare decisis has been called many things, among them a principle of policy, a series of prudential and pragmatic considerations, and simply the preferred course. Often overlooked is the fact that stare decisis is also a judicial doctrine, an analytical system used to guide the rules of decision for resolving concrete disputes that come before the courts.

This Article examines stare decisis as applied by the U.S. Supreme Court, our nation’s highest doctrinal authority. A review of the Court’s jurisprudence yields two principal lessons about the modern doctrine of stare decisis. First, the doctrine is comprised largely ...


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 ...


The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel Mar 2015

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 ...


A Jurisprudential Divide In U.S. V. Wong & U.S. V. June, Richard J. Peltz-Steele Jan 2015

A Jurisprudential Divide In U.S. V. Wong & U.S. V. June, Richard J. Peltz-Steele

Faculty Publications

In spring 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided two consolidated cases construing the Federal Tort Claims Act, U.S. v. Kwai Fun Wong and U.S. v June, Conservator. The Court majority, 5-4, per Justice Kagan, ruled in favor of the claimants and against the Government in both cases. On the face of the majority opinions, Wong and June come off as straightforward matters of statutory construction. But under the surface, the cases gave the Court a chance to wrestle with fundamental questions of statutory interpretation. The divide in Wong and June concerns the role of the courts vis-à-vis ...


The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel Nov 2014

The Scope Of Precedent, Randy J. Kozel

Michigan Law Review

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 ...


Precedent: What It Is And What It Isn't; When Do We Kiss It And When Do We Kill It?, Ruggero J. Aldisert Jan 2013

Precedent: What It Is And What It Isn't; When Do We Kiss It And When Do We Kill It?, Ruggero J. Aldisert

Pepperdine Law Review

No abstract provided.


Stare Decisis In The Inferior Courts Of The United States, Joseph W. Mead Jun 2012

Stare Decisis In The Inferior Courts Of The United States, Joseph W. Mead

Nevada Law Journal

No abstract provided.


University Of Baltimore Symposium Report: Debut Of “The Matthew Fogg Symposia On The Vitality Of Stare Decisis In America”, Zena D. Crenshaw-Logal Jan 2012

University Of Baltimore Symposium Report: Debut Of “The Matthew Fogg Symposia On The Vitality Of Stare Decisis In America”, Zena D. Crenshaw-Logal

Zena Denise Crenshaw-Logal

On the first of each two day symposium of the Fogg symposia, lawyers representing NGOs in the civil rights, judicial reform, and whistleblower advocacy fields are to share relevant work of featured legal scholars in lay terms; relate the underlying principles to real life cases; and propose appropriate reform efforts. Four (4) of the scholars spend the next day relating their featured articles to views on the vitality of stare decisis. Specifically, the combined panels of public interest attorneys and law professors consider whether compliance with the doctrine is reasonably assured in America given the: 1. considerable discretion vested in ...


The Mismeasurement Of Legal Pragmatism, Douglas Lind Jan 2012

The Mismeasurement Of Legal Pragmatism, Douglas Lind

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

No abstract provided.


Transtemporal Separation Of Powers In The Law Of Precedent, Randy Beck Jan 2012

Transtemporal Separation Of Powers In The Law Of Precedent, Randy Beck

Scholarly Works

The rule of stare decisis creates a presumption that a court’s ruling on a legal question remains binding in later decisions by the same court or hierarchically inferior courts. This presumption promotes stability in the law and protects reliance interests. Decisions that narrowly construe or overrule prior opinions can therefore seem like unprincipled threats to the rule of law.

This article seeks to highlight some countervailing themes in the case law, showing that stability and the protection of reliance interests are not the exclusive concerns underlying the law of precedent. The relevant doctrine attempts to balance these objectives with ...


Stare Decisis And Constitutional Text, Jonathan F. Mitchell Oct 2011

Stare Decisis And Constitutional Text, Jonathan F. Mitchell

Michigan Law Review

Almost everyone acknowledges that stare decisis should play a significant role when the Supreme Court of the United States resolves constitutional cases. Yet the academic and judicial rationales for this practice tend to rely on naked consequentialist considerations, and make only passing efforts to square the Court's stare decisis doctrines with the language of the Constitution. This Article offers a qualified defense of constitutional stare decisis that rests exclusively on constitutional text. It aims to broaden the overlapping consensus of interpretive theories that can support a role for constitutional stare decisis, but to do this it must narrow the ...


Structure And Precedent, Jeffrey C. Dobbins Jan 2010

Structure And Precedent, Jeffrey C. Dobbins

Michigan Law Review

The standard model of vertical precedent is part of the deep structure of our legal system. Under this model, we rarely struggle with whether a given decision of a court within a particular hierarchy is potentially binding at all. When Congress or the courts alter the standard structure and process offederal appellate review, however, that standard model of precedent breaks down. This Article examines several of these unusual appellate structures and highlights the difficulties associated with evaluating the precedential effect of decisions issued within them. For instance, when Congress consolidates challenges to agency decision making in a single federal circuit ...


Stare Decisis As Judicial Doctrine, Randy J. Kozel Jan 2010

Stare Decisis As Judicial Doctrine, Randy J. Kozel

Journal Articles

Stare decisis has been called many things, among them a principle of policy, a series of prudential and pragmatic considerations, and simply the preferred course. Often overlooked is the fact that stare decisis is also a judicial doctrine, an analytical system used to guide the rules of decision for resolving concrete disputes that come before the courts.

This Article examines stare decisis as applied by the U.S. Supreme Court, our nation’s highest doctrinal authority. A review of the Court’s jurisprudence yields two principal lessons about the modern doctrine of stare decisis. First, the doctrine is comprised largely ...


The Michigan Supreme Court, Stare Decisis, And Overruling The Overrulings, Robert A. Sedler Jan 2009

The Michigan Supreme Court, Stare Decisis, And Overruling The Overrulings, Robert A. Sedler

Law Faculty Research Publications

No abstract provided.


Precedent In The Federal Courts Of Appeals: An Endangered Or Invasive Species?, John B. Oakley Apr 2006

Precedent In The Federal Courts Of Appeals: An Endangered Or Invasive Species?, John B. Oakley

The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

No abstract provided.


The Supreme Court In Bondage: Constitutional Stare Decisis, Legal Formalism, And The Future Of Unenumerated Rights, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2006

The Supreme Court In Bondage: Constitutional Stare Decisis, Legal Formalism, And The Future Of Unenumerated Rights, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay advances a formalist conception of constitutional stare decisis. The author argues that instrumentalist accounts of precedent are inherently unsatisfying and that the Supreme Court should abandon adherence to the doctrine that it is free to overrule its own prior decisions. These moves are embedded in a larger theoretical framework--a revival of formalist ideas in legal theory that he calls "neoformalism" to distinguish his view from the so-called "formalism" caricatured by the legal realists (and from some other views that are called "formalist").

In Part II, The Critique of Unenumerated Constitutional Rights, the author sets the stage by briefly ...


How Is Constitutional Law Made?, Tracey E. George, Robert J. Pushaw Jr. May 2002

How Is Constitutional Law Made?, Tracey E. George, Robert J. Pushaw Jr.

Michigan Law Review

Bismarck famously remarked: "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made." This witticism applies with peculiar force to constitutional law. Judges and commentators examine the sausage (the Supreme Court's doctrine), but ignore the messy details of its production. Maxwell Stearns has demonstrated, with brilliant originality, that the Court fashions constitutional law through process-based rules of decision such as outcome voting, stare decisis, and justiciability. Employing "social choice" economic theory, Professor Stearns argues that the Court, like all multimember decisionmaking bodies, strives to formulate rules that promote both rationality and fairness (p. 4). Viewed through ...


The Stare Decisis "Exception" To The Chevron Deference Rule, Rebecca White Dec 1992

The Stare Decisis "Exception" To The Chevron Deference Rule, Rebecca White

Scholarly Works

In this article, the author discusses how Chevron intersects with one important competing norm - stare decisis. Stare decisis counsels the Court to adhere to its own decisions, particularly statutory ones, absent substantial justification for departure. To what extent should stare decisis apply when an agency's interpretation of a statute, otherwise deserving of deference under Chevron, conflicts with a prior interpretation of the statute by the Supreme Court?

This article suggests the following answer: If the Court's prior opinion upheld the agency's interpretation as one reasonable reading of the statute, but not the only one possible, and the ...


Precedent And Legal Authority: A Critical History, Charles W. Collier Jan 1988

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

UF Law Faculty Publications

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 ...


Justiciability, Edwin Borchard Jan 1936

Justiciability, Edwin Borchard

Faculty Scholarship Series

It might be supposed that justiciability, the very foundation of the judicial function, would be a matter on which courts could hardly differ. Yet there seems to be the greatest confusion among the courts as to when an issue is and is not susceptible of judicial decision. This is largely due to a devotion to phrases and symbols which make historical investigation and theoretical analysis seem an unnecessary encroachment on the judicial prerogative. The very system of stare decisis invites courts to relieve themselves of the necessity of thinking through again ostensible propositions which seem to have once received the ...


Some Lessons From The Civil Law, Edwin Borchard Jan 1916

Some Lessons From The Civil Law, Edwin Borchard

Faculty Scholarship Series

The purpose of this brief article is not so much to set forth any specific institutions disclosed by a study of the civil law, as to point out some of those defects of our own system which are accentuated by comparison with the civil law, defects due to the methods rather than the substance of the common law. There is no desire to urge such a radical and perhaps impossible step as the substitution of civil law methods for our own; but in the consideration of plans for the improvement of our law, it may be profitable to observe that ...