The prominence and fragility of stare decisis

One very important point in the confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh received little attention. It was Kavanaugh’s professed respect for the doctrine of not overruling previous Supreme Court opinions. The principle is called “stare decisis.” It means that a justice, even though she or he thinks outcome A is correct in a case, should vote for outcome B because a previous Supreme Court decision reached outcome B. The interests of stability and predictability dominate over the...

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