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Stare Decisis: Code for “I’m a Moron!”

Posted by Brutus | Posted in Conservative Corner | Posted on 20-07-2009


Stare decisis is code for “I support Roe v Wade.” For some reason, we look at it as laudible when we are interviewing potenential judges. Why?

The idea of stare decisis means “Maintain the decision.” In other words, it means uphold whatever has already been decided. But let’s take a minute to look at the folly of this.

In 1857, the Supreme Court decided the Constitution did not apply to slaves or ex-slaves.
In 1896, with Plessey v Feruson, the Supreme Court decided segregation was legally protected by the Constitution (Separate but equal was A-OK!).
In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled racial profiling was a good and acceptable  thing in its decision of Korematsu v United States.

Should these things not have been overturned simply because they were “settled law?” Should we go back and overturn all overturnings simply because the law was already decided? Of course not. There is only one litmus test for SCOTUS cases, have they been decided by the light of the Constitution or did the justices use contemporary mores to render a decision? There are countless Supreme Court cases that need to be overturned, including Wickard v Filburn (1942), Marbury v Madison (1803), and Kelo v the City of New London, CT.

As a public, we should stop allowing contestants for the SCOTUS to hide behind the stare decisis boulder. Tell us what you think about the Civil Rights cases of 1883 and the mid-20th Century. Tell us what you think about the application (and possibly abuse) of the Commerce Clause. And yes, tell us what you think about Roe v Wade.

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