DISCUSSION: The author says precedent is an institutional tool. It can sometimes be overturned based on persuasive reasoning (intellectual authority).
- Nope. Precedent is doing something just because others did it earlier. That may be sensible sometimes, but it’s not intellectual.
- Not always. Sometimes an earlier decision is also the best decision. Then intellectual and institutional authority will agree.
- CORRECT. It’s nice not to have to rethink decisions from scratch every time you hear a case. But you need to make sure your precedents are good. Some will get old and need changing (lines 46-50).
- Lines 46-50 make clear that judges can reconsider earlier decisions.
- The author seems to like the current system. The fact that judges can overrule decisions is a useful safeguard on institutional authority.
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