Regarding judicial power, more than 225 years ago the Virginian Patrick Henry famously stated that:

Power is the great evil with which we are contending. We have divided power between three branches of government and erected checks and balances to prevent abuse of power. However, where is the check on the power of the judiciary? If we fail to check the power of the judiciary, I predict that we will eventually live under judicial tyranny.

Thus, a central part of the subdividing of power worked its way into the design of the Judicial Branch, so that it was controlled by two companion sets of rules of assuring impartial appellate review, and the doctrine of stare decisis.

These two rules were designed to provide order and stability to the judicial process, so to create a diffusion of decision making power and thereby limit the risk of creating dangerous nodes of central power within the Judicial Branch of government. Consequently, just as separation of powers and federalism purposefully segment governmental power, so too do the principles of appellate review and stare decisis placed a control on the power of the Judicial Branch.

In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton cited 1 Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws 186 (1752), to argue that the judiciary, though independent of the legislative and executive branches, would be self-policing through its adherence to “strict rules and precedents, which serve to define and point out their duty in every particular case that comes before them.” He argued that this inherent self-restraint and respect for precedent would assure that it was “least dangerous” to the liberties of the people.

This “Rule of Law” hangs upon an incredibly fine thread: the promise that each case will be treated the same under the same rules. The Latin term for this is “stare decisis” which literally translated means, “stand by things decided.”

The Supreme Court’s own Chief Justice when testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee stated that judges are “bound down by rules and precedents.” He continued stating that: “the founders appreciated the role of precedent in promoting evenhandedness, predictability, stability and integrity in the judicial process.” In conclusion, the Chief Justice affirmed that: “a sound judicial philosophy should reflect recognition of the fact that the judge operates within a system of rules developed over the years by other judges equally striving to live up to the judicial oath.”

However, in this recent decision the evidence confirms that the Supreme Court now views stare decisis as “little more than a joke.” (See, The decision is but a subterfuge for politicizing the judicial process so to permit money to control the peoples government.