There’s Nothing “Super” About Roe v. Wade


The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee opened its hearing on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 20, 2017. This Article examines a particular argument made during the hearing about the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade and its status as a precedent of the Court. During her opening statement, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) offered a list of “39 decisions where [Roe] has been reaffirmed by the court.” These decisions, she said, make Roe a “super precedent.” This claim is the basis for the argument that Roe v. Wade should be virtually immune from being overruled. After setting the stage by outlining relevant principles of stare decisis, this Article will evaluate the validity of the “super precedent” argument.


Stanford University Stanford, California
  • Orrin G. Hatch, There's Nothing "Super" About Roe v. Wade, 29 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev. Online, Mar. 2018, at 1.    
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