New Hampshire  |  Constitutional Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 6/21/10, 12:43 pm

I once heard of a principle that says, in effect, "The absence of a compelling reason to change a law is in itself a compelling reason to leave it unchanged." Can you tell me the name of that principle, and its correct wording?

Thanks

2 Answers


Answered on: 6/21/10, 4:22 pm by Andrew Winters

Stare Decisis


Did you find this answer helpful?

0 Users found this answer helpful.

0 Attorneys agree with this answer.


Cohen & Winters, PLLC 101 North State Street, Suite #1 Concord, NH 03301

Other answers from this attorney

Answered on: 6/24/10, 8:28 am by Edmund Burke

"Stare decisis" is short for the Latin legal motto of "Stare decisis et non quieta movere" which means roughly, "stand by (prior judicial) decisions and do not disturb the undisturbed." Basically, it means a court should follow binding precedent -- prior judicial decisions -- in most cases.

It does not always apply, as sometimes a court will overrule a prior decision, holding for instance that it was a mistake. Think of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the US Supreme Court held that a state could not legally segregate its schools by race. This overruled its prior 60-year old decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, where the court ruled that Louisiana could require segregated railway cars, so long as the facilities were "separate but equal."

Your principle is not exactly the same as Stare Decisis as it appears to apply to legislation passed by the legislature (e.g. either Congress or a State), rather than to court decisions. I don't know that it has an "official" name but just appears to be a pithy saying, with some wisdom I should add.


Did you find this answer helpful?

0 Users found this answer helpful.

0 Attorneys agree with this answer.


Edmund B Burke, Attorney at Law 426 Capri Dr Hartwell, GA 30643

Other answers from this attorney

Didn't find what you were looking for? Ask an Attorney!

Get answers from the top Attorneys
Ask Question

115 Answers given in the last few hours.

8662 Active attorneys ready to answer your question

Search Past Answers:
  Advanced Search