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To: philman_36; Harlan1196

I aplogize. The WKA decision IS binding.

“It is a legal phrase which refers to the legal, moral, political, and social principles used by a court to compose the rationale of a particular judgment. Unlike obiter dicta, the ratio decidendi is, as a general rule, binding on courts of lower and later jurisdiction—through the doctrine of stare decisis. Certain courts are able to overrule decisions of a court of co-ordinate jurisdiction—however out of interests of judicial comity they generally try to follow co-ordinate rationes.

The process of determining the ratio decidendi is a correctly thought analysis of what the court actually decided—essentially, based on the legal points about which the parties in the case actually fought. All other statements about the law in the text of a court opinion—all pronouncements that do not form a part of the court’s rulings on the issues actually decided in that particular case (whether they are correct statements of law or not)—are obiter dicta, and are not rules for which that particular case stands.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratio_decidendi

Thus in Minor, the question was if women had the right to vote:

“And the constitution of the State of Missouri [n2] thus ordains:

“Every male citizen of the United States shall be entitled to vote.”

Under a statute of the State all persons wishing to vote at any election, must previously have been registered in the manner pointed out by the statute, this being a condition precedent to the exercise of the elective franchise.

In this state of things, on the 15th of October, 1872 (one of the days fixed by law for the registration of voters), Mrs. Virginia Minor, a native born, free, white citizen of the United States, and of the State of Missouri, over the age of twenty-one years, wishing to vote for electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, and for a representative in Congress, and for other officers, at the general election held in November, 1872, applied to one Happersett, the registrar of voters, to register her as a lawful voter, which he refused to do, assigning for cause that she was not a “male citizen of the United States,” but a woman. She thereupon sued him in one of the inferior State courts of Missouri, for wilfully refusing to place her name upon the list of registered voters, by which refusal she was deprived of her right to vote.

The registrar demurred, and the court in which the suit was brought sustained the demurrer, and gave judgment in his favor; a judgment which the Supreme Court affirmed. Mrs. Minor now brought the case here on error.”

She had argued that under the equal protection clause of the 14th, all citizens had the right to vote. But the court said “3. The right of suffrage was not necessarily one of the privileges or immunities of citizenship before the adoption of the fourteenth amendment, and that amendment does not add to these privileges and immunities. It simply furnishes additional guaranty for the protection of such as the citizen already had.”

The case of Minor v Happersett was about voting rights. Their comments about NBCs, made in passing, and admitting they made no attempt to resolve the definition, were obiter dicta.

WKA was a citizenship case, and the entire decision is dedicated to the question. Thus, it’s rationale for deciding IS “Ratio decidendi”, or “the rationale for the decision.”

“Unlike obiter dicta, the ratio decidendi is, as a general rule, binding on courts of lower and later jurisdiction—through the doctrine of stare decisis.”

So yes, the discussion in WKA was a type of dicta that IS binding on subsequent courts. Thank you for helping me to learn something about the law. I thought the actual RULING was binding, but the argument was not. But if the argument is key to the question, then it IS binding.


236 posted on 02/24/2012 2:47:41 PM PST by Mr Rogers ("they found themselves made strangers in their own country")
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To: Mr Rogers
The WKA decision IS binding.
I never argued that the decision wasn't binding.

Now to your definition and what you left off, that being the first part...

Ratio decidendi (Latin plural rationes decidendi) is a Latin phrase meaning "the reason" or "the rationale for the decision." The ratio decidendi is "[t]he point in a case which determines the judgment"[1] or "the principle which the case establishes."[2]
In other words, ratio decidendi—legal rule derived from, and consistent with, those parts of legal reasoning within a judgement on which the outcome of the case depends.

So once again you only post that which appears to prove you right.

244 posted on 02/24/2012 3:12:31 PM PST by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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