Taming the Bench: MAGA Means Ending Judicial Precedent

“It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind. These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions; and the judges never fail of decreeing accordingly.” So said Anglo-Irish essayist Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels in 1726. Unfortunately, something has changed almost three centuries later: The decisions have perhaps become even more iniquitous. Swift was rightly mocking the notion of “judicial precedent.” Yet it’s even more preposterous in our time and place, for at least 18th-century British judges didn’t have a constitution to violate. How is the principle even remotely defensible, however, in a nation with our Constitution, the “supreme law of the land”? One justice who...(Read Full Article)
You must be logged in to comment.
Register