Washington Law Review


David C. Bratz


This Comment contends that under limited circumstances lower courts may refuse to follow authoritative precedent. The Comment begins by distinguishing the doctrine of stare decisis in the Supreme Court and the doctrine as applied to lower courts. Next, the Comment discusses the doctrine of implicit overrule and suggests that the concept of implicit overrule is not sufficiently broad to encompass all of the circumstances in which lower courts should be allowed to disregard precedent. Using McCray as a paradigm, this Comment concludes that lower courts, within narrow limits, should be free to disregard even authoritative precedent when it is predictable that the Supreme Court would no longer follow the precedent.

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