The purpose of the law
In law, every case is unique and the competent jurist is guided by principle, not precedent.
Judgments frequently contradict one another and if a precedent were a binding rule that could be wrapped around a new cause of action, there would be no need for Judges. We could merely give lawyers the authority to draft judgments and instruct the Judge to sign it, which is what in fact happens when the process is corrupted or when a Judge is inappropriately influenced by the theatrics of a lawyer or an unreliable "expert".
Moreover, it is possible that Judges who make a comments like "my hands are tied" and "I am circumscribed by law" are merely caving in to the prejudice of a previous judgment and that is also not acceptable.
Terms like "equality under the law", "justice for all", and "equal protection under the law" are not just words. They reflect enduring, inviolable principles and "precedent" is an abusive tool if it is used in an irresponsible manner.
Stare decisis is the policy of courts to abide by or adhere to principles established by decisions in earlier cases but there is nothing in the law which mandates adherence to any miscarriage of justice, past or present.
It is important to emphasize "principles" because prior decisions which do not comport with notions of good reason prejudice the opportunity to be fair and reasonable.
Consequently, When we say "Let the decision stand", we should also be thinking about principles which need to be protected and defended because the attempt to transfer unique circumstances from one case to another is potentially the transplantation of a miscarriage of justice.
Precedents are not immutable. They are subject to the serious scrutiny of concerns like: "Is the precedent administrable?" "Have the facts that the courts assumed in its older precedent changed?" "Have new developments brought the foundation of an older precedent into question?" Precedent is a tool of guidance, not a mandate to ignore developments that beg revision or alteration.
NEXT: Ignorance and Bias always corrupts.