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Schauer on Precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court

William A. Edmundson

Georgia State University College of Law


Georgia State University Law Review, Forthcoming

Recent critics of the Roberts Court chide it for its lack of regard for precedent. Fred Schauer faults these critics for erroneously assuming that a rule of stare decisis formerly played a significant role in the Supreme Court's decision-making. In fact, it has long played only a rare and weak role in the Court's work. Nonetheless, according to Schauer, the critics are to be thanked for invigorating a needed debate about the importance of "stability, consistency, settlement, reliance, notice, and predictability" in the Court's decisions. This article argues that Schauer exaggerates the weakness of stare decisis in the Court's practices; and that his call for a public debate on the merits of the norm of stare decisis can only weaken it.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 11

Keywords: Supreme Court, precedent, stare decisis, Planned Parenthood v. Casey

JEL Classification: K40, K41

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Date posted: June 11, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Edmundson, William A., Schauer on Precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court (2008). Georgia State University Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1143491

Contact Information

William A. Edmundson (Contact Author)
Georgia State University College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 4037
Urban Life Building, Room 402 140 Decatur Street
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States
404-413-9167 (Phone)
404-413-9225 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://law.gsu.edu/wedmundson/
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