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What\u27s Past is Prologue: Precedent in Literature and Law

By Kenji Yoshino

Abstract

On June 29, 1992, the joint opinion of Planned Parenthood v. Casey\u27\u22spectacularly failed to overrule \u27 the holding of Roe v. Wade.\u27 The writersof the joint opinion suggested that stare decisis, or the legal doctrine mandatingthat precedent be followed, disciplined their analysis, and that they were boundby Roe\u27s holding regardless of their personal opinions on whether theConstitution protects a woman\u27s choice to have an abortion.\u27 Chief JusticeRehnquist\u27s opinion, on the other hand, maintained that stare decisis did notcompel upholding Roe and asserted that Roe should be overruled. The Rehnquist opinion further implied that the joint opinion invoked the doctrineof stare decisis as a convenient way of implementing individual Justices\u27political predilections while allowing those Justices to avoid accountability fortheir controversial views on abortion

Topics: stare decisis, precedent, Law, Legal Writing and Research
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 1994
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.law.yale.edu:fss_papers-5385
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