Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 decade ago

Would this be reversable or irreversable?

1973: Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.

This is an example of an IRREVERSABLE precedent.

(for some reason, seems unlikely that this will ever reach the Supreme Court again)

1986: Bowers vs Hardwick: Declared that a ban on sodomy is NOT unconstitutional

This is an example of a REVERSABLE precedent, (struck down by 2003: Lawrence vs. Texas)

Now, we have Ted Olson & David Boies filing a federal lawsuit to legalize gay marriage.

Here's my question:

If they get to the Supreme Court and lose,

will that be a REVERSABLE precedent or an IRREVERSABLE precedent?

and how do you know whether a lawsuit is Reversable?


Is it likely that it would reach the Supreme Court again several years later?

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Few cases are irreversible and Roe v Wade is far from irreversible, there have been any number of cases since Roe; Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Stenberg v. Carhart, and the last case in 2007, Gonzales v. Carhart, to name a few and more are pending in the federal courts.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not Precedent is Irreversable.

    Plessy vs Ferguson of 1896 was once considered "Irreversable", but was Reversed in 1954 with Brown vs. Topeka KS Board of Education. Whenever you deal with a USC ruling that interprets something not specifically written in the Constitution precedent is strong, but not final in future considerations.

    Just the Same with Roe vs. Wade, since Gay Marriage is not specifically stated one way or another, nor directly implied, it would be more of a Reversable Descision if ruled unconstituional, but more irreverseable (not completeley, read Dred Scott) if held to be Constitutional. The USC is very very cautious in restricting rights to people that it previously held existed in the Constitution (Dred Scott), but it is not without its own precedence to do just that.

    Really no USC descision is final and that it will never be reconsidered. Once it is up to be reconsidered, it may be reversed, this goes for Roe vs. Wade and many others.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There is *no* Supreme Court decision that is *irreversible*; it depends only upon the Constitutional interpretation of the current Court.

    I agree, though--it seems highly unlikely that Roe v. Wade will ever again be heard before the Court.

    Will their case get to the Court? Possibly. Will they win? *shrug* I cannot say. Presuming they lose, that doesn't mean that they have lost *forever*, only for then. I suspect the Court will decide that it is a State's Rights issue--they will pass the buck back to the State Legislatures, and then there will have to be lots of ballots to come before the voters.

    My opinion is that homosexuals should be equally protected vis-a-vis marriage under the "equal protections" in the Constitution.

    Now...suppose that a measure allowing homosexual marriage comes up before the voters and they decide "no, we don't like that" like it did in California? A democracy is not about continuing to have vote after vote until you get what you want. If the vote were to be "yes, we want that" would you then push for never voting on it again because you like the outcome?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Since I view all courts as political institutions I believe that any decision is potentially reversible, if somebody grabs at strands of a case which could leave room for additional constitutional issues. In any case a reversal would really depend on the composition of a court and the time period as well as whether the Court majority did not adhere to the theory os stare decisis which means being guided by previous decisions , so nothing is etched in stone.

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  • Julia
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    ALL Supreme Court precedent is reversible. Many of the best known 'landmark' cases are ones that were either reversed later, or are reversals of earlier decisions. Whichever way Olson goes, it will be a reversible decision. The court may well decide to take it up again in the future. 'Roe v. Wade', for example, only got to the Supreme Court because Congress had declined to act on the subject themselves. Were Congress to enact a national abortion law that conflicted with 'Roe', the court might well decide to take it up. Richard

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Anything can be reversed. Our laws are written in legal jargon that can be skewed and overridden by other legal jargon when new laws are written. It was never supposed to be that way but it is nowadays.

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  • madart
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    There is no such thing as an irreversible president. There are just some that are unlikely to be over-turned.

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