Suppose a U.S. district judge in, say, the Southern district of New York writes a decision regarding some legal procedure. Can a different U.S. district judge in the same district write a contradictory decision? Or must he/she respect the precedent of the previous decision even though it did not come from a higher court?

1 Answer 1


Precedent at the same level in the court hierarchy’s non-binding

Only lower courts are bound.

  • But an exception to this might be "law of the Circuit"?
    – David
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 12:45
  • 1
    Federal circuit courts can override their own precedent
    – Dale M
    Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 1:32
  • @DaleM : I wonder if your comment above should be a part of the answer. Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 23:51

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