That its decisions on constitutional questions are not laws at all (let alone supreme laws), the Supreme Court itself recognized in the early days of the Republic: “Judicial power, as contradistinguished from the power of the laws, has no existence. Courts or the mere instruments of the law, and can will nothing.” (footnote 1) “in the ordinary use of language it will hardly be contended that the decisions of courts constitute laws. They are, at most, only evidence of what the laws are; and are not themselves laws. They are often re-examined, reversed, and qualified by the Courts themselves, whenever they are found to be either defective, or ill-founded, or otherwise incorrect.” (footnote 2) that is, the courts decisions or mere precedents: previous statements of the views of its then members on particular legal issues raised by particular litigants in certain defined factual contacts—statements which can be (and in many instances have later been admitted to the court, recognized by others, to be) wrong, and which are not binding on the Court itself, let alone anyone other than the original litigants, especially where constitutional issues are concerned. (footnote 3) So, although the Court’s precedents may, be entitled to whatever respect the force of the reasoning commands, they merit no legal, logical, or factual deference except as they bear on the rights of the actual litigants in a “Case[ ]” or “Controvers[y]”. And when their reasoning commands no respect, precedents must be dismissed as legal melodies, except of course as against the actual litigants themselves. For “no amount of repetition of * * * errors in judicial opinions can make the errors true”. (footnote 4)
Moreover, the Constitution itself refutes the modern claim that “the federal judiciary is supreme in the exposition of the law of the Constitution”. (footnote 5) Article III states not only (by way of location) that “[t]he judicial power shall extend” only to certain defined types of “Cases” and “Controversies” involving certain categories of litigants. (footnote 6) logically, that may render the decision of a court on a constitutional issue the “law” of such a particular “Case[ ]” or “Controvers[y]”, in the sense that it binds the litigants and their privies. But in no way suggests, let alone compels—indeed, it implicitly refutes—the contention that the decision is also the law of the land, in the sense that it binds anyone, let alone everyone, else who was not a party two that “Case[ ] or “Controvers[y]”. (footnote 7)
1.) Osborne v. Bank of the United States, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 738, 866 (1824).
2.) Swift v. Tyson, 41 U.S. (16 Pet.) 1, 18 (1842). “I understand the doctrine to be in such cases [i.e., cases in which a court overrules a previous decision], not that the law is changed, but that it was always the same as expounded by the leader decision, and that the former decision was not, and never had been, the law, and is overruled for that very purpose.” Gelpcke v. City of Dubuque, 68 U.S. (1 Wall.) 175, 211 (1864) (Miller, J., dissenting).
3.) Numerous opinions of the Supreme Court have recognized this limitation on the binding nature of judicial precedents in constitutional adjudication. E.g., Payne v.Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808, 827-30 & n. 1 (1991); Thomas v. Washington Gaslight Co., 448 U.S. 261, 272 n. 18 (1980); Mitchell v. W.T. Grant Co., 416 U.S. 600, 627-28 (1974) (Paul, J., concurring) (“especially with respect to matters of constitutional interpretation * * * if the precedent or its rationale is of doubtful validity, then it should not stand”); Coleman v. Alabama, 399 U.S. 1, 22-23 (1970) (Berger, C. J., dissenting) (denying “that what the court said weight we controls over the Constitution”); United Gas Improvement Co. v. Continental Oil Co., 381 U.S. 392, 406 (1965) (Douglas, J., dissenting) (“issues of [constitutional] magnitude are always open for re-examination”); Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, 346 (1963) (opinion of Douglas, J.) (“All constitutional questions are always open”); James v. United States, 336 U.S. 213, 233 (1961) (Black, J., Concurring in part and dissenting in part); Burnett v. Coronado Oil & Gas Co., 285 U.S. 393, 405 (1932) (Stone, J., dissenting); Pollock v. Farmers Loan & Trust Co., 158 U.S. 601, 663 (1895) (Harlan, J., dissenting) (“in a large sense, constitutional questions may not be considered as finally settled, until settled rightly”); Marshall v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, 57 U.S. (16 How.) 314, 343 (1854) (Daniel, J., dissenting) (relying one precedents “must be fruitful of ill when it shall be rested to the suppression of reason or duty, or to the arbitrary maintenance of injustice, of palpable error, or of absurdity”). This weakness of stare decisis in constitutional “Cases” is, of course, perfectly in keeping with the logic of a “living” Constitution. Under a constitution interpreted honestly according to original intent, conversely, stare decisis arguably should be a stricter. See, e.g., T. Cooley, A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations Which Rest Upon the Legislative Power of the States of the American Union (7th ed 1903), at 79-88; Chamberlain, “The Doctrine of Stare Decisis as Applied to Decisions of Constitutional Questions”, 3 Harvard L. Rev. 125 (1889), at 130-31.
4.) Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 107 (1985) (Rehnquist, C.J., dissenting).
5.) Cooper v. Aaron, 358, U.S. 1, 18 (1958).
6.) U.S. Const. art. III, §§ 1, 2.
7.) See Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution, (Chicago, Illinois R R Donnelly & Sons., Inc., GoldMoney Foundation Special Edition  of the Second Revised Edition, 2002) by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Volume I, page 45-46.