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Q:

What does it mean to overturn a Supreme Court decision?

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Think of it a little less about overturning a specific USSC decision and a little more about endorsing a new interpretation of the law or constitution that happens to almost wholly invalidate the prior decision. It's not like they go back over the facts of the old case. They're considering a new case entirely -- under existing case law, influenced by that prior decision -- and they're considering fresh arguments by the plaintiff and defendant (one of whom, of course, may be the US government, or in rare cases, both) as well as friend of the court briefs, and the makeup of the court is usually different by the time something this serious happens, with different judicial backgrounds and philosophies in play. Miranda is one such famous ruling that, it's thought by many scholars, has been almost wholly eviscerated by later decisions. They've never come along and "overturned" Miranda; they've just endorsed more and more encroachment on what it means, exactly, to have a proper legal ... more
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