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Methods of InterpretationHow the Supreme Court Reads the Constitution$
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Lackland H. Bloom Jr

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377118

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377118.001.0001

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(p.205) seven Precedent
Methods of Interpretation

Lackland H. Bloom

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the Court's use of precedent. First, it examines the line of precedent involving the rejection then adoption and finally restriction of the exclusionary rule under the Fourth Amendment as a case study. Second, it discusses how the Court interprets and shapes constitutional precedent including how it expands and narrows precedent, how it uses precedent to reason by analogy, how it distinguishes the holding from dicta, the weight to be given precedent and the role of unique precedent. It then explains how the Court distinguishes precedent. Finally, it considers when and how it overrules precedent taking into account such factors as departure from established doctrine, unworkability, lack of reliance, changed circumstances, and whether the precedent was incorrectly decided.

Keywords:   Exclusionary Rule, analogy, dicta, distinguish, abandoned, reliance, unworkability, changed circumstances

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