stare decisis

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 Before deciding to expand the Supreme Court, Democrats should wait to see if the court’s conservative wing chooses to disregard the doctrine of stare decisis, the principle of respect for legal precedent. WSJ, "The Case for and Against Court Packing," 20 Oct. 2020 Notably, limitations on stare decisis were a reoccurring topic in Barrett’s scholarly writing during her time as a law professor. Mark Satta, The Conversation, "Amy Coney Barrett sizes up 30-year-old precedent balancing religious freedom with rule of law," 13 Nov. 2020 First, there's the legal principle of stare decisis, a Latin term that refers to standing by previous rulings when deciding a similar case. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "Amy Barrett's law review articles show how Supreme Court rulings like Roe v. Wade could be challenged," 12 Oct. 2020 Ed Whelan wrote not one, not two, not three, but four Bench Memos last week about Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s views on stare decisis, the legal principle compelling judges to adhere to precedent. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "Barrett Sees No ‘Superprecedent’ in Roe," 6 Oct. 2020 Judge Barrett has at times been critical of stare decisis. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "What Trump Pick Amy Coney Barrett Could Mean for Future of the Supreme Court," 26 Sep. 2020 The court’s doctrine of stare decisis (deference to precedent) and the lengthy appellate process serve as bulwarks. Kevin Warsh, WSJ, "The Fed Puts Its Independence on the Line," 7 Sep. 2020 While Chief Justice Roberts adhered to stare decisis in yesterday’s ruling, there is ample evidence of him also doing the opposite. Jessica Mendoza, The Christian Science Monitor, "Principle over politics? Why Chief Justice Roberts upheld abortion rights.," 30 June 2020 Thomas criticized Chief Justice John Roberts, who was nominated to the high court by President George W. Bush, for claiming to adhere to stare decisis, or precedent, while ruling with the Supreme Court's liberal plurality. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Clarence Thomas: Roe v. Wade should be overruled," 29 June 2020

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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for stare decisis

stare decisis

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

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