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Definition an example from a prior time — typically used to justify similar occurrences at a later time (especially a judicial decision)
  • Precedent set by the Supreme Court must be followed by all lower courts.
  • These positions are, in the main, arbitrary; they are supported neither by principle nor precedent.
    Hamilton, Alexander  --  Federalist Papers Authored by Alexander Hamilton
  • In spite of her sedentary habits such abrupt decisions were not without precedent in Zeena's history.
    Wharton, Edith  --  Ethan Frome
  • ...precedent and political realities at some point dictate acceptance.
    Michael S. Greve  --  How to Think about Constitutional Change, Part II  --,pubID.22622/pub_detail.asp (retrieved 06/29/06)
  • A most dangerous precedent indeed
    Austen, Jane  --  Emma
  • You see, the trouble is,' resumed the young man, 'my governor, who's the head of the firm, is all for doing things according to precedent.
    Wodehouse, Pelham Grenville  --  Uneasy Money
  • It is clear from the text of the Constitution and subsequent precedents that once it is established that no quorum is present, the only actions that the House or Senate may take are to adjourn or to compel the attendance of absent members.
    Norman J. Ornstein  --  Ensuring the Continuity of the United States Government  --,filter.all/pub_detail.asp (retrieved 06/29/06)
  • It had, Dewey said, "an immediate pragmatic value" for its time by fighting reactionaries and undermining appeals to "origin, precedent and past history."
    James W. Ceaser  --  Toward a New Public Philosophy  --,filter.all/pub_detail.asp (retrieved 06/29/06)
  • is one mark of why the Rome Statute does constitute such a dangerous precedent, purporting to be a treaty that binds states that have not subscribed to it, which I think is intolerable.
    John R. Bolton  --  American Justice and the International Criminal Court  --,filter.all/pub_detail.asp (retrieved 06/29/06)
  • Men decide far more problems by hate, love, lust, rage, sorrow, joy, hope, fear, illusion, or some other inward emotion, than by reality, authority, any legal standard, judicial precedent, or statute.
  • Kevan could make use of that precedent.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Dance With Dragons
  • The contrast between the thin, fit, and well-to-do and the illness-ridden, poor, and obese has no historical precedent.
    Eric Schlosser  --  Fast Food Nation
  • To set a precedent, I guess.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Mockingjay
  • There was no precedent for a patient like Jared to be added to the waiting list.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Best of Me
  • He drew up briefs, served summonses, examined deeds and records, and searched out precedents.
    Betty Smith  --  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • The Church has a precedent of murder when it comes to silencing the Sangreal.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • The lawyers can look up their precedents, they can hang you because they hung some poor devil in 1866.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • He searched for an answer and found none, except that there was no precedent to judge it by.
    Nicholas Evans  --  The Horse Whisperer
  • JUDGE There's no precedent for this sort of thing.
    Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee  --  Inherit the Wind
  • He has enough trouble watching out for his 27 overgrown children in a military operation that has no precedent.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin'

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