Monday, June 29, 2020
Roberts, in a separate concurring opinion, broke the tie in the liberals’ favor. He did so not because he agreed with his liberal colleagues on substance, but because he was (he said) upholding the doctrine of “stare decisis,” roughly meaning, “Let it stand as decided.” Under stare decisis, if a new case involves the same legal issue as an old one, courts will ordinarily apply the same standard that prevailed in the earlier case. At the Supreme Court level, this sometimes applies even if a majority of justices now disagree with that ruling.
This means there will be a lot of law review articles coming out on stare decisis. We may get that breakthrough -- why liberal decisions get the benefit of that rule but conservative decisions do not. I don't see it myself, but I am not the genius that the future writer of this article is.