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, K41Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 11, 2008
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