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Riverside Chats

Matthew Wurstner on Precedent and the Supreme Court

Exterior of the United States Supreme Court Building on a sunny day
Eric Baradat
AFP/Getty Images
The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court decided a property rights case that overturned decades of precedent.

If you've ever watched Supreme Court proceedings, a word that you've heard a lot is "precedent." How much does precedent matter? How much should we revere the standards of the past, and how much should we look to rewrite the rules of the future?

These questions don't have firm answers, but people have strong opinions about them — particularly in an age of gridlocked Congress and a historically empowered Supreme Court.

Matthew Wurstner is back on the show to discuss the concept of precedent. What is it? Where does it come from? What are the arguments for and against it?

Wurstner is a partner at the law firm Carlson Blakeman in Omaha.

Courtney is back in her hometown after graduating from the University of Kansas in 2019 with degrees in journalism and film. While at KU, she was the arts and culture editor of the University Daily Kansan and had a summer internship at KCUR, Kansas City's NPR member station. She has three pet rats and has seen almost every Audrey Hepburn movie.
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