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The refusal by a judge to sustain an objection set forth by an attorney during a trial, such as an objection to a particular question posed to a witness. To make void, annul, supersede, or reject through a subsequent decision or action.

A judicial decision is overruled when a later decision, made by the same tribunal or a higher court in the same system, hands down a decision concerning the identical Question of Law, which is in direct opposition to the earlier decision. The earlier decision is thereby overruled and deprived of its authority as precedent.


v. 1) to reject an attorney's objection to a question of a witness or admission of evidence. By overruling the objection, the trial judge allows the question or evidence in court. If the judge agrees with the objection he/she "sustains" the objection and does not allow the question or evidence. 2) to decide (by a court of appeals) that a prior appeals decision on a legal issue was not correct, and is therefore no longer a valid precedent on that legal question. (See: objection, sustain)


verb abrogate, annul, cancel, decide against, gubernare, invalidate, make null, make void, nullify, obviate, override, overturn, refuse to sustain, reject, reject by subsequent action, reject by subbequent decision, renounce, repeal, repudiate, rescind, reverse, revoke, rule against, rule out, set aside, undo, upset, vincere, void
Associated concepts: overrule a decision, overrule a motion, overrule an objection
See also: abolish, abrogate, annul, cancel, command, disaffirm, disown, dominate, invalidate, negate, nullify, override, predominate, prevent, quash, reject, repeal, repudiate, rescind, subjugate, supersede, vacate, void, withdraw


to set aside the rule of a lower court. When achieved by a superior court in the Anglo-American system, the effect is retrospective. The term can be used of a statute that changes the legal effect of a decision. This is done from the date the statute comes into force.

Parliament can, of course, make the statute come into effect retrospectively, but this is something that is generally thought to be a dangerous form of legislation that may go against the rule of law.

TO OVERRULE. To annul, to make void. This word is frequently used to signify that a case has been decided directly opposite to a former case; when this takes place, the first decided case is said to be overruled as a precedent, and cannot any longer be considered as of binding authority.
     2. Mr. Greenleaf has made a very valuable collection of overruled cases, of great service to the practitioner.
     3. The term overrule also signifies that a majority of the judges have decided against the opinion of the minority, in which case the latter are said to be overruled.

References in periodicals archive ?
Today, the formal legal standard governing the decision to overrule is embodied in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v.
18) Once we have won enough such cases, the Court will be in a position to overrule Roe.
Regrettably, the replay on television showed that an incorrect overrule was made,' said Earley.
81) As Justice Moore's tendency to overrule past precedent is recent, it can reasonably be concluded that Justice Moore is not only attempting to leave his legacy on the South Carolina Supreme Court, but that he also feels comfortable doing so in light of the protection provided by the new judicial selection system.
It was not the 'clear mistake' for which an umpire's overrule is designed and Clijsters did well to hide any frustrations afterwards.
This sample set includes only those cases that overrule a previous constitutional decision.
While conceding that Congress may modify or set aside the Court's rules of evidence and procedure that are not required by the Constitution, the Court emphasized that Congress may not overrule the Court's decisions that interpret and apply the Constitution.
However, even then we independents have no unilateral power to overrule committees.
The Bush administration asked the Supreme Court to overrule the 7th Circuit, arguing that court precedent allows taxpayers to challenge congressional aid to religion, but not executive branch actions that rely on general funds.
The all-American duel in New York lived up to expectations, with Capriati aided by a controversial overrule call as she fought back from a set down to prevail 2-6 6-4 6-4.
The all-American duel took top billing in the evening session in New York with Capriati aided by a controversial overrule call as she won 2-6 6-4 6-4.
In response to accusations by the dissent contending that the majority failed to adhere to precedent and the doctrine of stare decisis, (24) Justice Taylor directly addressed the doctrine and set out a test that the court must follow in determining whether to overrule a prior decision.