Modes of Constitutional Analysis: Judicial Precedent (Part 4) [December 30, 2021] [open pdf - 699KB]
From the Document: "This Legal Sidebar Post is the fourth in a nine-part series that discusses certain 'methods' or 'modes' of analysis that the Supreme Court has employed to determine the meaning of a provision within the Constitution. [...] The Supreme Court's prior decisions on questions of constitutional law are the most commonly cited source of the Constitution's meaning. For most Justices, if not all, judicial precedent provides possible principles, rules, or standards to govern judicial decisions in future cases with arguably similar facts. Although the Court routinely purports to rely upon precedent, it is unclear [hyperlink] how often precedent has actually constrained the Court's decisions because the Justices have latitude in how broadly or narrowly they choose to construe their prior decisions. In some cases, however, a single precedent may play a particularly prominent role in the Court's decisionmaking."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10678
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/