Document Type



Precedent and Authority in Antonin Scalia's Jurisprudence,12 Cardozo L. Rev. 1685 (1991)


More openly than any other Justice sitting today, 'Antonin Scalia is ready to reverse prior Supreme Court precedent. Scalia has announced that Roe v. Wade' should be overruled altogether, while other Justices obviously unsympathetic to Roe have been unwilling thus far to do any more than whittle away at it. Similarly, in death penalty cases, a majority of the Court since 1982 has been cutting back prior Supreme Court rulings without openly overruling them; in two recent capital cases, Scalia alone stated that he would reverse prior rulings rather than join with unsympathetic majorities in confining their application. In yet another context, a Court majority recently construed prior decisions prohibiting politically motivated firings of government employees also to forbid patronage-based hiring decisions; Scalia, in dissent, was not content to argue that precedent did not require this further application, but maintained that the earlier decisions themselves should be overruled.

Date of Authorship for this Version


Included in

Law Commons