November 21, 2019

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm, Eastern Time

ACS Pittsburgh: The Value of Precedent in the Federal Courts: Its Past, Present, and Future

Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, Pittsburgh, PA

Join the ACS Pittsburgh Lawyer Chapter and the ACS University of Pittsburgh Law School Student Chapter for a discussion with experts on the value of precedent in the federal courts.

The makeup of the federal courts, from district courts to the Supreme Court, has changed drastically since President Trump took office nearly three years ago. With those changes, the Supreme Court has shown an increased willingness to overturn established precedent with minimal justification, leading some of the Court’s Justices to openly “wonder which cases the Court will overrule next.” Administration lawyers are increasingly arguing positions that directly contradict long-held precedents thought to be settled law. 

We will discuss the roots and reasoning behind the doctrine of stare decisis; why the doctrine matters to the rule of law and has such an important place in our system; how the Supreme Court has justified its decisions overturning precedent in the past; and whether there are any clues in recent opinions indicating just how far judges are willing to go in overturning or disregarding precedent.



Gerald S. Dickinson, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Mark C. Rahdert, Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Moderated By:


Joseph Sabino Mistick, Associate Professor of Law, Duquesne University School of Law; Sunday Columnist, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Co-Host, Roddey Mistick