How can Supreme Court decisions be overturned?


Decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court can be overturned by either a constitutional amendment or by a future U.S. Supreme Court decision, according to HowStuffWorks. Supreme Court decisions can also be countered or circumvented by new legislation.

HowStuffWorks notes how difficult it is to overturn a Supreme Court ruling. As explained by, decisions handed down by the court are almost always final, but on rare occasions, the court's decisions can be undone by a constitutional amendment, which requires a vote from two-thirds of the states.

HowStuffWorks reports that states have done this several times over the court's history. However, it is more likely that the Supreme Court overrules its own decisions. The court might decide to review an earlier case in response to changing cultural views. In Pace v. Alabama, the court upheld state laws banning interracial marriage based on a view that such laws protected white marriages. Eighty years later, the Court overruled the Pace decision in Loving v. Virginia, ruling marriage discrimination laws were not legal.

On occasion, Congress addresses Supreme Court rulings that it doesn't agree with by passing new legislation to counter the legal precedent. For example, The Hill describes how Congress passed a bill in 2012 to deal with the issue of eminent domain and state's rights in an attempt to overturn a 2005 court decision.

Explore this Topic
The Supreme Court is the last stop for court cases. Cases go to the Supreme Court when a decision needs to be made that pertains to legislation or constitutional ...
The case of Wabash Vs Illinois was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 14,15 of 1886. A decision was made on October 25, 1886. The case centered on the ...
The right of a Judicial Review was approved by the Supreme Court in 1803 with the Marbury vs. Madison decision. They can review the ethics of a political appointee ...
About -  Privacy -  Careers -  Ask Blog -  Mobile -  Help -  Feedback  -  Sitemap  © 2014