The Supreme Court changes its mind

Surely, the Supreme Court is entitled to change its mind.  This is particularly true if the Court, in rendering the original decision, did not take into account a crucial matter that would have brought a different result to the case being considered.

It seems that lately, the Court is more prone to change its mind.  For example, sometime in 2009, the Court declared certain provisions of Republic Act 95 (which created the Philippine National Red Cross) as unconstitutional on the ground that the law violated the Constitutional prohibition against Congress creating a private corporation (see Liban vs. Gordon, G.R. No. 175352, July 15, 2009).

Around one and a half years later, the Court reversed itself after considering the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Senator Gordon (see Liban vs. Gordon, G.R. 175352, January 18, 2011). This time, the Court withdrew its declaration of unconstitutionality on the ground that the constitutionality of Republic Act 95 was never raised as an issue by the parties and should not have been passed upon by the Court.

Undeniably, there may be cases when the Court should change its mind to correct a legally flawed decision; such reconsideration of the original decision is welcome.  However, a reconsideration by the highest court of the land of its own decision can also be troubling – it only goes to show that the Court can commit a mistake.

(Note: photo of Red Cross flag from Wikimedia Commons)


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