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Things are busy at Dewey, Earn and Howe. Willy Understand has a new research assignment and, as his mentor, he needs your help again. You explain to him that the doctrine of stare decisis (“it has been decided”) means that courts are obligated to rely upon precedent when deciding similar cases. Black’s Law Dictionary defines precedent as “a rule of law established for the first time by a court for a particular type of case and thereafter referred to in deciding similar cases” (Garner, 1999). This is an important element in the American judicial system because it helps establish consistency in court rulings and decisions. Consistency helps people know what to expect from the court in future cases. As an example for Willy, you are going to complete the following and provide your results to him as follows:

Garner, B. (1999). Black’s law dictionary (7th ed.). St. Paul, Minn.: West Group.

This Assignment has two parts:

  1. From the list provided (see Supreme Court Landmarks link) research a Supreme Court case where the court establishes precedent. Write a summary of the facts of the case and the new rule(s)) that the court sets forth. Explain which courts are obligated to follow the new rule.
  2. Research a subsequent case that uses the precedent you located in the first part of this Assignment. Write a summary of the facts of the case and how the court applies stare decisis. Be sure to cite to exactly where in the case the court discusses application of the rule established by the prior court.
  3. Required Criteria:

In addition to fulfilling the specifics of the Assignment, a successful paper must also meet the following criteria:

  • Length should be 350-500 words plus a, cover page and references page.
  • Double spaced and 12-point font
  • Viewpoint and purpose should be clearly established and sustained.
  • Assignment should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.). Paper should utilize APA formatting.
  • Writing should be well ordered, logical, and unified, as well as original and insightful.
  • Your work should display superior content, organization, style, and mechanics.
  • Appropriate citation style should be followed.


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