The Corner

The Conundrum That Confronts Honest Judges

Any good and honest judge must, a) uphold the original meaning of the Constitution, and, b) uphold precedent, observing the doctrine of stare decisis, a Latin phrase meaning “stand by things decided.” So what is the good and honest judge to do when confronted with half a century or so of Supreme Court decisions that ignore the original meaning of the Constitution? 

Even for Judge Laurence Silberman, that’s not easy:

 Stare decisis is not inconsistent with originalism, but it may require you as a judge to consider hard whether you wish originalism to trump stare decisis.

To watch one of the finest legal minds in the nation consider one of the toughest questions in constitutional law, click here.

Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

When the Tide Comes In

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader, “Save Ike from the Kikes.” I’d better explain. This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the Nazi troll armies’ march ... Read More
Film & TV

Celebrity Activists Do Not Help

Michelle Williams, an actress, has decided to become a spokesman on the issue of pay inequality in her profession, and appears this month on the cover of Vanity Fair with a headline to that effect. This decision follows what she describes as a humiliating episode in which she learned in the pages of USA Today ... Read More
Culture

Washington in the Flesh, Almost

Canova's George Washington at the Frick Collection is the zenith of the museum's signature exhibition style. It's small, fewer than 20 objects. It's focused. It examines the creation of Antonio Canova's full-length sculpture of George Washington in Roman costume from 1821. It was Canova's (1757–1822) sole ... Read More