General Question

flo's avatar

When is a law a "settled" law?

Asked by flo (11432points) September 10th, 2018

That is, how much time has to pass by with it as a status quo? And why is that the factor? Haven’t a tons of of things been legal before progress happened, for example, child labor?

Is there any topic other than abortion /Roe vs Wade when that that term is used as an argument?

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16 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

“Settled” law refers to those decrees cited as precedents when similar cases arise. It follows that rulings by the Supreme Court are settled law, because that body is the ultimate arbiter of the law. So Brown vs. the Board of Education, Citizens United are examples along with Roe.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

When is added to the constitution.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Only amendments are added to the actual document.

Demosthenes's avatar

To me it doesn’t mean much. The Supreme Court is what determines precedent. It can change; things can be overturned. “Settled law” is just evasive language.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
stanleybmanly's avatar

Not so fast kiddies. Instead of viewing the word “settled” as equivalent to “cast in stone”, suppose “settled” merely means that a decision has been made one way or the other regarding a case. The case is “settled” and unless or until the decision regarding it is appealed, that decision is “settled law.” Settled merely means that the ruling is currently free from challenge.

flo's avatar

“Settled” = We want it to be left alone, not the ruling is currently free from challenge since ruling is currently free from challenge is just a statement of fact.

flo's avatar

It is only “settled” in the minds and wishes of the supporters of the status quo. According to the ones who plan to challenge it, it’s not settled.

kritiper's avatar

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th. ed., “settled” can mean to be agreed to out of court by both parties involved in a legal suit, hence, “settled law”. The word “law” doesn’t have to mean a rule of some kind.

kritiper's avatar

In addition…
-from The New Century Dictionary, 1942 ed.,
“settled… secured to a person by a legal act or process, as an estate or property; also, appointed or fixed as a question or a matter in doubt; ...”

stanleybmanly's avatar

@flo well can you agree that “it” is settled legally until challenged?

You puzzle me with “it’s ONLY a statement of fact”. Whether or not anyone wants “it” to be left alone, is irrelevant. “IT”s the law, temporary or not. That SETTLES it.

flo's avatar

If abortion was against the law the republicans wouldn’t expect the democrats to leave it alone, since it’s “settled” and democracts would find that so called “argument”, ridiculous.

flo's avatar

@kritiper It doesn’t seem the dictionary definition, works in this context though.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Do you believe the Democrats expect the Republicans to “leave it alone?” Once again, “settled law” is not about permanence. The “settled” is just a short way of saying that Roe is the precedent forbidding the oulawing of abortion. It’s been regarded as the definitive word on the matter for 45 years.

flo's avatar

I’ll stop right here, @stanleybmanly since it was bingo’d a few posts ago.

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