Kris E's paper

Precedent in its simplest form is the past judgments made by the courts on almost any given situation. Precedent is a tool that can be used by judges, lawyers, and even criminals alike. Judges can use precedent to base their decisions on or can be used to decide if there ruling could be overturned. Precedent is also used by lawyers to help argue their points. When presenting their case either in front of a jury or simply trying to convince a judge to allow your arguments and stop your opponents. Precedent can also be used by criminals in a weird way. A criminal can use precedent to see what the punishment could be for his or her crime before committing it. When it comes to judges there are two ways to look at precedent loose and strict.
Strict precedent is not what you would think. If judges use strict precedent it means that the judge does not follow the pass cases. It means that they do not use the past cases because of many different reasons. It may be an outdated ruling, one that does not follow modern morals, or just one that the new judges does not agree with. The other view is just as sideways. If a judge uses loose precedent they are following the past rules exactly. The best way to use this is when a past case is cited when making a ruling or arguing during the trial.
Probably the most famous case that used strict precedent is Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In the case the Supreme Court reversed a past case that legally set up separate but equal schools, among other establishments. In this case the courts decided that the precedent that was in place was unjust and against the constitution. This is a beautiful example of strict precedent because the court changed the previous ruling and by doing so made their own precedent. If the judges used loose precedent the ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson would have been upheld and the idea of separate but equal would have gone on.
I believe that the best way to use precedent is in both ways. One can use loose precedent to see how one has ruled in the past but should use strict as well. I believe this because I do not think two situations are completely the same and therefore should be looked at in a new light with no bias.

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