Stare Decisis and Originalism: A Comparative Analysis of Two Legal Appeals




Schreiner, Matthew

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This paper analyzes and compares two primary interpretational methods for constitutional cases in the United States Supreme Court: stare decisis and originalism. Researchers have examined the practical value of these methods individually by their ability to effectively develop jurisprudence. However, authors rarely discuss the potency of their legitimizing force and seldom tie stare decisis and originalism together in their analysis. This gap in the conversation, along with developments to rhetorical attitudes of Justices epitomized in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, ultimately inspired the direction of this research– an attempt to define the relationship between the terms’ historical significance and their use as a persuasive appeal. Though a concrete solution to blurring the line between law and opinion is perpetually evasive, recognizing the substantial similarities between applications to stare decisis and originalism is fundamental to de-politicizing the court’s analysis of precedents and the Constitution.



Legal Rhetoric, Legal History, Constitution