NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE S upreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, who this weekend will mark 30 years on the Court, has little patience for precedent veneration. No idol of lawyerly adoration is safe in his chambers. He once called upon his colleagues to reconsider the holding of Calder v. Bull, a case that the Supreme Court decided in 1798. As he often takes care to explain in his lucid opinions, the Court’s job is to be faithful to the Constitution and to the law, not to its own decisions.
Lawyers who are invested in particular precedents, or in judicial supremacy generally, sometimes clutch their pearls when …
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