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The Power of Precedent$
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Michael J. Gerhardt

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195150506

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195150506.001.0001

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The Multiple Functions of Precedent

The Multiple Functions of Precedent

(p.147) The Multiple Functions of Precedent 5
The Power of Precedent

Michael J. Gerhardt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In this chapter Professor Gerhardt demonstrates that precedents end up influencing and contributing to constitutional law in many ways other than constraint, which is the predominant concern of social scientists who study courts. These multiple functions include educating the public about constitutional law, shaping constitutional discourse in and outside of courts, implementing constitutional values, clarifying constitutional structure and history, resolving particular cases or controversies, and democratizing constitutional law.

Keywords:   precedent, constitutional law, Supreme Court, implementing the Constitution, constitutional discourse

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