Precedent in a Polarized Era

13 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2018 Last revised: 1 Oct 2019

See all articles by Zachary Price

Zachary Price

University of California Hastings College of the Law

Date Written: December 15, 2018


Randy J. Kozel’s new book, Settled Versus Right: A Theory of Precedent, makes an important contribution to the age-old debate over stare decisis. Advocating an institutional rather than personal view of judicial authority, Kozel urges judges and justices operating in the present-day environment of "interpretive pluralism" to focus on non-merits factors such as workability, factual accuracy, and reliance in deciding whether to overrule most types of constitutional precedent. Increasingly polarized views of constitutional law make Kozel's book exceptionally timely, but the same developments may well limit its influence, as evidenced by two cases overruling precedent in the Supreme Court's most recent term.

Keywords: precedent, stare decisis, constitutional law

Suggested Citation

Price, Zachary, Precedent in a Polarized Era (December 15, 2018). Notre Dame Law Review, Vol. 94, page 433, 2019; UC Hastings Research Paper No. 323. Available at SSRN:

Zachary Price (Contact Author)

University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

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