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 And Chief Justice Roberts, often thought to be the champion of stare decisis (that is, honoring precedent) silently went along. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Supreme Court Topples Precedent to Hobble Public Unions," 27 June 2018 Roberts doesn’t love rewarding that kind of norm-defying chutzpah—and that alone could incline him toward respecting stare decisis, and invalidating the Louisiana law. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "Possible Responses to the Major Abortion Case Before the Supreme Court," 5 Mar. 2020 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

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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Statistics for stare decisis

Last Updated

26 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stare decisis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.

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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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