Five professors from law schools around the nation will be joining the Notre Dame faculty this year as visiting professors.
Welcome to the Program on Constitutional Structure
Welcome to the Notre Dame Law School Program on Constitutional Structure. Our Program helps Notre Dame law students obtain a world-class education in constitutional law. We host events at our South Bend and London campuses to examine pressing constitutional questions of domestic and global importance. We serve federal and state courts by educating first-rate judicial law clerks, attorneys, and other public servants.
Our mission is to advance interdisciplinary learning about how sound constitutional structures of government advance individual well-being and the common good. We support curricular programs of study, sponsor academic lectures and conferences, and engage with questions of constitutional development worldwide. By promoting the study of constitutional structures, we serve the needs of our students, the broader academic community, and the bench and bar—here and abroad.
In the American legal system, it’s a generally accepted view that judges should not disrupt the decisions of their predecessors unless they have a compelling reason to do so. The principle is known by the Latin phrase stare decisis – “to stand by things decided.” The goal is to preserve the law’s core without permanently entrenching every judicial mistake.
The key question is: When should judges break from precedent? After all, even Supreme Court justices disagree about the role of precedent in particular cases.