Solorio v. United States, 483 U.S. 435 (1987)

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Author: John Paul Stevens

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Solorio v. United States, 483 U.S. 435 (1987)

JUSTICE STEVENS, concurring in the judgment.

Today’s unnecessary overruling of precedent is most unwise. The opinion of the United States Court of Military Appeals demonstrates that petitioner’s offenses were sufficiently "service-connected" to confer jurisdiction on the military tribunal. Unless this Court disagrees with that determination -- and I would be most surprised to be told that it does -- it has no business reaching out to reexamine the decisions in O’Callahan v. Parker, 395 U.S. 258 (1969), and Relford v. Commandant, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, 401 U.S. 355 (1971). While there might be some dispute about the exact standard to be applied in deciding whether to overrule prior decisions, I had thought that we all could agree that such drastic action is only appropriate when essential to the disposition of a case or controversy before the Court.* The fact that any five Members of the Court have the power to reconsider settled precedents at random does not make that practice legitimate.

For the reasons stated by the Court of Military Appeals, I agree that its judgment should be affirmed.

* Even in its brief proposing the reconsideration of O’Callahan, the United States asked the Court to reconsider that decision only in the event that the Court disagrees with the United States’ submission that petitioner’s acts of sexual assaults on military dependents are service related. Brief for United States 28.

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Chicago: John Paul Stevens, "Stevens, J., Concurring," Solorio v. United States, 483 U.S. 435 (1987) in 483 U.S. 435 483 U.S. 452. Original Sources, accessed September 22, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DA3MR74QAT66SIH.

MLA: Stevens, John Paul. "Stevens, J., Concurring." Solorio v. United States, 483 U.S. 435 (1987), in 483 U.S. 435, page 483 U.S. 452. Original Sources. 22 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DA3MR74QAT66SIH.

Harvard: Stevens, JP, 'Stevens, J., Concurring' in Solorio v. United States, 483 U.S. 435 (1987). cited in 1987, 483 U.S. 435, pp.483 U.S. 452. Original Sources, retrieved 22 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DA3MR74QAT66SIH.