Perhaps the oddest part of the liberals’ argument against Mississippi’s abortion law, which protects second-trimester babies from abortion, was the insistence the Supreme Court is bound by previous Supreme Courts, regardless of how wrong those previous Supreme Courts were.

“Is it your argument that a case can never be overruled simply because it was egregiously wrong?” Justice Sam Alito asked.

In effect, yes, replied President Joe Biden’s solicitor general, Elizabeth Prelogar.

“I think that at the very least, the state would have to come forward with some kind of materially changed circumstance or some kind of materially new argument, and Mississippi hasn't done so in this case," Prelogar said.

The only reason Brown v. Board of Education was right to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson, Prelogar argued, was that new evidence had come to light showing that separate was inherently unequal. This is an incredible statement on its own, implying that "separate but equal" segregation should have been allowed in schools, provided that equal resources could somehow be provided.

But Alito pointed out the problem here and pressed Prelogar, again and again, to be totally clear in her argument.

“This court, no, has never overruled in that situation, just based on a conclusion that the decision was wrong,” Prelogar said.

The argument here is that when the Supreme Court makes an error, it is stuck with that error forever. The only way precedents ever get overturned is if the available facts change or a party presents a brand new argument. If a party argues that "the Constitution is silent on abortion," and the court wrongly says "the Constitution protects abortion," then the Biden administration argues it is out of bounds for the court to correct past errors and admit the Constitution is silent on abortion.

The Biden administration has no choice but to make this argument because it is widely understood that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were poor jurisprudence. Harry Blackmun's clerk Edward Lazarus has admitted that Roe “has little connection to the constitutional right it purportedly interpreted.”

“What is frightening about Roe,” wrote pro-choice Yale Law Professor John Hart Ely, “is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure.”

So the only way to save these dreadful precedents is to argue that every mistake the Supreme Court ever makes is an eternal, uncorrectable mistake.

Do you suppose this argument will persuade Chief Justice John Roberts? Or will it serve instead as a reductio ad absurdum against the cult of immutable precedents and the notion of stare decisis?