stare decisis

noun
sta·​re de·​ci·​sis | \ ˌster-ē-di-ˈsī-səs How to pronounce stare decisis (audio) , ˌstär- \

Definition of stare decisis

: a doctrine or policy of following rules or principles laid down in previous judicial decisions unless they contravene the ordinary principles of justice

Examples of stare decisis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web It's settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis. NBC News, 8 May 2022 In recent Supreme Court decisions overturning precedent, the liberal minority has accused the conservative majority of ignoring some of the principles of stare decisis to overturn precedents that conservatives don't like. Tierney Sneed, CNN, 22 Mar. 2022 Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked if the court's decisions in Roe and Casey were wrong to begin with, how that would counter the stare decisis principle. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 1 Dec. 2021 In legalese, the doctrine the justices will consider on Wednesday is called stare decisis. Ariane De Vogue, CNN, 30 Nov. 2021 Justice Brett Kavanaugh pushed back on the argument for stare decisis — the principle that the court should stick to its past rulings — and suggested some of the nation’s most significant cases were repeals. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, 2 Dec. 2021 Justice Stephen Breyer stressed the importance of stare decisis -- the legal principle that courts generally adhere to precedent. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 1 Dec. 2021 Just one argued in favor of Roe, that clerk handing Souter 32 crystalline pages that centered on stare decisis -- the doctrine that held, as Souter did, that legal precedents should ordinarily not be overruled. Joshua Prager, CNN, 23 Sep. 2021 Chief Justice John Roberts begrudgingly joined with the court’s four liberals at the time out of deference to stare decisis. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 28 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stare decisis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stare decisis

1754, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stare decisis

Latin, to stand by decided matters

Learn More About stare decisis

Time Traveler for stare decisis

Time Traveler

The first known use of stare decisis was in 1754

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near stare decisis

stare at (someone)

stare decisis

stare down

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for stare decisis

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stare decisis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stare%20decisis. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for stare decisis

stare decisis

noun
sta·​re de·​ci·​sis | \ ˈster-ē-di-ˈsī-sis, ˈstär-ē-; ˈstä-rā-dā-ˈkē-sēs How to pronounce stare decisis (audio) \

Legal Definition of stare decisis

: the doctrine under which courts adhere to precedent on questions of law in order to insure certainty, consistency, and stability in the administration of justice with departure from precedent permitted for compelling reasons (as to prevent the perpetuation of injustice)

History and Etymology for stare decisis

New Latin, to stand by things that have been settled

More from Merriam-Webster on stare decisis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stare decisis

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!