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National Black Law Journal

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American Exclusion Doctrine: A Response to Liberal Defenses of Stare Decisis


Stare decisis has long been considered a conservative doctrine. Yet, in recent years, liberals have taken up a defense of the legal principle in efforts to preserve key liberal precedents. Despite the existing critiques of stare decisis as oppressive, political, and inconsistent, advocates along the entire political spectrum continue to claim its value as a neutral tool that ensures equality, consistency, and impartiality in jurisprudence. This Note pushes back on liberal defenses of stare decisis by highlighting well-established critiques through a case study of Supreme Court decisions on citizenship. The analysis, based on Critical Race Theory, provides an original approach to critiques of stare decisis and contextualizes the potential harm from continued advocacy to protect “progressive” decisions for the sake of setting liberal precedent.

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