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What's Past is Prologue: Precedent in Literature and Law, 104 Yale Law Jounral 471 (1994)


On June 29, 1992, the joint opinion of Planned Parenthood v. Casey'
"spectacularly failed to overrule ' the holding of Roe v. Wade.' The writers
of the joint opinion suggested that stare decisis, or the legal doctrine mandating
that precedent be followed, disciplined their analysis, and that they were bound
by Roe's holding regardless of their personal opinions on whether the
Constitution protects a woman's choice to have an abortion.' Chief Justice
Rehnquist's opinion, on the other hand, maintained that stare decisis did not
compel upholding Roe and asserted that Roe should be overruled. The Rehnquist opinion further implied that the joint opinion invoked the doctrine
of stare decisis as a convenient way of implementing individual Justices'
political predilections while allowing those Justices to avoid accountability for
their controversial views on abortion.

Date of Authorship for this Version



stare decisis, precedent