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 These two states—the only ones to ever adopt this practice—are beseeching the court to uphold the status quo, and have filed briefs urging the court to abide by its usual rules of stare decisis, leaving precedents intact. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Jim Crow Returns to the Supreme Court," 28 Aug. 2019 That’s because the House operates on the principle of stare decisis, a decision to stand by precedent that is also favored by US courts. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "How a manual written by Thomas Jefferson sparked a battle over Trump and racism," 17 July 2019 Last week, the Supreme Court was roiled by an unusually pointed disagreement about stare decisis. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Let flawed court precedent fall," 28 June 2019 Breyer warned that the ruling in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt was a departure from stare decisis, a legal doctrine in which courts are to abide by precedents unless there's a compelling reason to overrule them. USA Today, "COPY, PASTE, LEGISLATE Progressives borrow strategy from anti-abortion groups: Use copycat legislation," 20 June 2019 In this sense, Roe can likewise be a good test of a nominee’s views on stare decisis. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Abortion, Roe—and Trump," 2 July 2018 When the day comes that the Court reconsiders Roe, the justices will no doubt take seriously the arguments from stare decisis for leaving it be. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Destroying Brett Kavanaugh," 1 Oct. 2018 The reason is the power of stare decisis (or precedent), and how conservatives view the role of the Court in supporting the credibility of the law. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Are Democrats Crying Wolf on Threat to Abortion Rights?," 3 July 2018 In deciding whether to respect stare decisis and follow a precedent deemed wrongly decided, justices apply standards that can appear wobbly and uncertain. Walter Olson, WSJ, "Gay Marriage Is Here to Stay, Even With a Conservative Court," 8 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of stare decisis

1754, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stare decisis

Latin, to stand by decided matters

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The first known use of stare decisis was in 1754

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Cite this Entry

“Stare decisis.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stare%20decisis. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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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

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