Schauer on Precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court
11 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2008
Date Written: 2008
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.
Keywords: Supreme Court, precedent, stare decisis, Planned Parenthood v. Casey
JEL Classification: K40, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation