stare decisis

sta·re de·ci·sis | \ˌster-ē-di-ˈsī-səs, 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

Most judicial nominees voice respect for stare decisis during confirmation hearings. David G. Savage,, "Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a potential Supreme Court nominee, has defended overturning precedents," 3 July 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. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Abortion Scare Campaign," 2 July 2018 That would require quite a challenge to the doctrine of stare decisis, or the binding nature of constitutional precedents, which becomes more important as such precedents are allowed to stand. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Steps the Next Supreme Court Might Take to Roll Back Abortion Rights," 27 June 2018 But the third decision is stare decisis - - court precedent and how much the court respects that. Fox News, "Political fallout from Scott Pruitt's resignation," 6 July 2018 The issue of preserving Supreme Court precedents, a doctrine known as stare decisis, is certain to play a prominent role in the confirmation process. David G. Savage,, "Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a potential Supreme Court nominee, has defended overturning precedents," 3 July 2018 But one of the concepts that really means a lot in America is stare decisis. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 1, 2018," 1 July 2018 There are decent arguments, rooted in stare decisis, on why a Roberts court would be unwise to overturn Roe—or at least refrain from doing it all at once. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Abortion, Roe—and Trump," 2 July 2018 Chief Justice John Roberts has appeared reluctant to overturn precedents – indeed, the stare decisis doctrine of following precedents holds that such action should occur only under unusual circumstances. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "With departure of swing vote, a pivotal moment for the Supreme Court," 28 June 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

New Latin, to stand by things that have been settled

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Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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stare decisis

sta·re de·ci·sis | \ˈster-ē-di-ˈsī-sis, ˈstär-ē-; ˈstä-rā-dā-ˈkē-sēs \

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)

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