Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"In Defense of Dissents"

This post might not be right down the middle of the CivPro strike zone, but it's Time Magazine and the Supreme Court so I couldn't resist throwing it out.  In the February 26 edition of Time, Reynolds Holding authors a piece entitled "In Defense of Dissents," in which he discusses Chief Justice Roberts's push for unanimity on the court and the downsides of such an approach. For example, Holding says:   

What's troubling is just how Roberts often gets to 9 to 0:  by pushing for decisions on grounds narrow enough for each Justice to accept.  That makes for some pretty thin rulings . . .

Holding also discusses the value of dissenting and concurring opinions.

But the price of unanimity is the loss of concurrence and dissent, the expression of views that can strengthen the law by showing us how it came to be, where it should develop and why the most important rulings are never easy. Sometimes the doubters are right, and if their voices disappear, so might the prospect of not-yet-recognized freedoms or protections for many Americans.

Holding cites the Harlan dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson and the Murphy dissent in the Korematsu Japanese internment case, among others, as examples of dissenting opinions that ultimately won out over the majority opinions.  So, to bring this post back into the heart of the CivPro strike zone, what are the CivPro examples of dissenting opinions that ultimately won the day?


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Judge Kozinski in Lexecon.

Posted by: Anony | Mar 1, 2007 12:15:22 AM

Justice Stevens's dissent in Finley had an infamously fast impact.

Posted by: Rory | Mar 1, 2007 5:02:17 AM

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