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Open Access Publications from the University of California

National Black Law Journal

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The National Black Law Journal (NBLJ) has been committed to scholarly discourse exploring the intersection of race and the law since 1970, when the NBLJ was started by five African-American law students and two African-American law professors. The Journal was the first of its kind in the United States.


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.