Bench Memos

Re: Roberts on Precedent

The short response to Ramesh is that the joint opinion in Casey did not faithfully apply its own stated test for stare decisis (a point made in Chief Justice Rehnquist’s opinion) — and at the same time rewrote as much of Roe as was preserved under the guise of preserving its “central holding.” I also think one should ignore the largely extraneous dicta about how the Court should not acquiesce in the face of public criticism. This language is not central to the opinion’s formulation for when to apply stare decisis and is highly unlikely to inform Chief Justice Roberts’ future application of the doctrine.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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