The Roberts Court has overturned precedents at a lower rate than predecessors. Will this now change?

The Roberts Court has overturned precedents at a lower rate than predecessors. Will this  now change?

[Ed. – Stare decisis is Latin for ‘to stand by things decided.’  It refers to following precedent, and is one of the cornerstones of our system of justice.]

The Supreme Court’s October 2017 term was not a modest one. In three of the Court’s final decisions of the term, the Court overturned longstanding precedents in three significant areas. … To some, this is all further evidence that the Roberts Court is an “activist” court, all-too-willing to depart from prior precedent to advance a conservative agenda.

The actual data tell a different story. The stark departure from stare decisis seen this past June was something of a departure for the Roberts Court — at least as we have come to know it thus far. Under Chief Justice Roberts, the Court has largely maintained the status quo, and has generally avoided overturning prior court precedents. As I noted several years ago (drawing on a New York Times report), the early Roberts Court has overturned prior court precedents at a lower rate than its predecessors. From my 2010 post. …

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