8 Landmark Supreme Court Cases That Were Overturned

It’s extremely rare for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn one of its own decisions. Of the more than 25,500 decisions handed down by the Supreme Court since its creation in 1789, it has only reversed course 146 times, less than one-half of one percent.

That’s because the legal concept of precedent has played such a central role in common law systems for “at least 1,000 years,” says David Schultz, law professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. “Precedent says that ‘like cases should be decided alike.’ It appeals to our notions of justice and fairness.”

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