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Justice O'Connor: U.S. must rely on foreign law
WND ^

Posted on 10/31/2003 9:32:28 AM PST by stop_fascism

American courts need to pay more attention to international legal decisions to help create a more favorable impression abroad, said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at an awards dinner in Atlanta.

Sandra Day O'Connor

"The impressions we create in this world are important, and they can leave their mark," O'Connor said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The 73-year-old justice and some of her high court colleagues have made similar appeals to foreign law, not only in speeches and interviews, but in some of their legal opinions. Her most recent public remarks came at a dinner Tuesday sponsored by the Atlanta-based Southern Center for International Studies.

The occasion was the center's presentation to her of its World Justice Award.

O'Connor told the audience, according to the Atlanta paper, the U.S. judicial system generally gives a favorable impression worldwide, "but when it comes to the impression created by the treatment of foreign and international law and the United States court, the jury is still out."

She cited two recent Supreme Court cases that illustrate the increased willingness of U.S. courts to take international law into account in its decisions.

In 2002, she said, the high court regarded world opinion when it ruled executing the mentally retarded to be unconstitutional.

American diplomats, O'Connor added, filed a court brief in that case about the difficulties their foreign missions faced because of U.S. death penalty practices.

More recently, the Supreme Court relied partly on European Court decisions in its decision to overturn the Texas anti-sodomy law.

"I suspect," O'Connor said, according to the Atlanta daily, "that over time we will rely increasingly, or take notice at least increasingly, on international and foreign courts in examining domestic issues."

Doing so, she added, "may not only enrich our own country's decisions, I think it may create that all important good impression."

In July, O'Connor made a rare television news show appearance with Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer in which they were asked whether the U.S. Constitution, the oldest governing document in use in the world today, will continue to be relevant in an age of globalism.

Speaking with ABC News' "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos, Breyer took issue with Justice Antonin Scalia, who, in a dissent in the Texas sodomy ruling, contended the views of foreign jurists are irrelevant under the U.S. Constitution.

Breyer had held that a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that homosexuals had a fundamental right to privacy in their sexual behavior showed the Supreme Court's earlier decision to the contrary was unfounded in the Western tradition.

"We see all the time, Justice O'Connor and I, and the others, how the world really – it's trite but it's true – is growing together," Breyer said. "Through commerce, through globalization, through the spread of democratic institutions, through immigration to America, it's becoming more and more one world of many different kinds of people. And how they're going to live together across the world will be the challenge, and whether our Constitution and how it fits into the governing documents of other nations, I think will be a challenge for the next generations."

In his dissent in the Texas case, Scalia said: "The court's discussion of these foreign views (ignoring, of course, the many countries that have retained criminal prohibitions on sodomy) is ... meaningless dicta. Dangerous dicta, however, since this court ... should not impose foreign moods, fads, or fashions on Americans," he said quoting the 2002 Foster v. Florida case.

Scalia's scathing critique of the 6-3 sodomy ruling was unusual in its bluntness.

"Today's opinion is the product of a court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct," he wrote. Later he concluded: "This court has taken sides in the culture war."

The current court is split between Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Clarence Thomas and Scalia, who tend to hold the traditional constitutionalist approach to rulings, and the majority of O'Connor, Breyer, Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginzburg, David H. Souter and John Paul Stevens, who tend to believe in the concept of a "living Constitution" subject to changes in public opinion and interpretation.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: internationallaw; nowewont; oconnor; scotus; timetoretire; transjudicialism; usconstitution
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Treason isn't limited to democrats.
1 posted on 10/31/2003 9:32:28 AM PST by stop_fascism
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To: stop_fascism
Impeach her!
2 posted on 10/31/2003 9:34:36 AM PST by Ingtar (Understanding is a three-edged sword : your side, my side, and the truth in between ." -- Kosh)
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To: stop_fascism
How about the foreigners pay attention to us instead of the other way around.
3 posted on 10/31/2003 9:37:49 AM PST by Naspino (I am in no way associated with the views expressed in my posts.)
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To: stop_fascism
Good grief, I can understand Ginsberg spouting this rationale, but now O'Connor??? Has she lost all sanity. I was more than hoping to see her take Rehnquist's place should he retire. But with ideas like this, there is no way she can be trusted as the Chief Justice. We live under the Constitution of the United States - how about governing to that.
4 posted on 10/31/2003 9:39:07 AM PST by jmcclain19
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To: stop_fascism
The woman is indeed treasonous and should be impeached post haste.

So many of the courts across this land are out of control that we must start paying attention and take action against those who seek to destroy the very constitution that has made the U.S. the envy of the world.
5 posted on 10/31/2003 9:39:41 AM PST by Dixielander
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To: stop_fascism
If she wants us beholden to "International Law" (feh) why don't we start with her? Send her to the Hague!
6 posted on 10/31/2003 9:40:31 AM PST by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: stop_fascism
Could we have the url to that story please? I'd like to spread it around but want to know the original source. Thanks.
7 posted on 10/31/2003 9:41:28 AM PST by Fun Bob
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To: Dixielander
How long before Souter starts citing Libyan traffic court rulings? Renquist-Scalia-Thomas must feel like they have their fingers in the dyke (no pun intended).
8 posted on 10/31/2003 9:42:15 AM PST by Callahan
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To: stop_fascism
Our nation has become so afraid of offending someone. That includes our courts. Common sense has flown out the door.

Just make everything legal. That way our poor judges and lawmakers won't have to worry.
9 posted on 10/31/2003 9:42:31 AM PST by Dallas59
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To: stop_fascism
Perhaps she is on the wrong court if she wants to worry about international law. Perhaps she should be on the "world court" where they would take an oath to uphold international law, instead of the oath she took to uphold and defend the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES!

Mark A Sity
http://www.logic101.net/
10 posted on 10/31/2003 9:42:56 AM PST by logic101.net (http://www.logic101.net/)
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To: Fun Bob
http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35367
11 posted on 10/31/2003 9:43:33 AM PST by JoJo Gunn (Liberalism - Better Living through Histrionics )
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To: Ingtar
Behold..the longterm efect of hormone replacement therapy..she's having a "hot flash"..no doubt caused by the solar flares..
12 posted on 10/31/2003 9:44:26 AM PST by ken5050
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To: stop_fascism
Before jumping to the conclusion she should be drawn and quartered wouldn't it be appropriate to have her actual speech?

Or do you actually depend on the word of the Atlanta Constipation for most of your information?
13 posted on 10/31/2003 9:47:09 AM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: stop_fascism

14 posted on 10/31/2003 9:47:41 AM PST by JoJo Gunn (Liberalism - Better Living through Histrionics )
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To: jmcclain19
She wouldn't have replaced Rehnquist as CJ even before she made this boneheaded statement. Most court watchers agree that it's even money that she'll retire before Rehnquist.
15 posted on 10/31/2003 9:49:05 AM PST by birdsman (Bill Clinton is still on the loose. Do you know where your daughters are?)
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To: Fun Bob
We wouldn't want to actually read the exact words she spoke now. That would put you out of step with the Always Ready to Hang Brigade march to the gallows.

Imagine taking the word of the Atlanta J-C? LoL.
16 posted on 10/31/2003 9:49:23 AM PST by justshutupandtakeit (America's Enemies foreign and domestic agree: Bush must be destroyed.)
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To: stop_fascism
I suppose that O'Connor is acting like a liberal idiot in these public forums to make easier her confirmation as a Chief Justice in case she is nominated.

Otherwise, she might be losing her mind, or she might have been misquoted.

17 posted on 10/31/2003 9:49:34 AM PST by george wythe
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To: Callahan
LOL! You're quick!
18 posted on 10/31/2003 9:49:36 AM PST by Dixielander
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To: stop_fascism
When future generations write the history of what happened to America, such foolishness as expressed by Justice O'Connor will serve as a prime example.

Substituting "... that all important good impression" for the rule of law as embodied in our Constitution may make O'Connor and others heroes of the international community they seem to worship but will ultimately result in the decline and destruction of American freedom and independence.

19 posted on 10/31/2003 9:50:05 AM PST by catpuppy
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To: jmcclain19
Old Hitler/Goebels(sp) had it right - feed the people a bunch of lies repeatedely & soon they will be believing them. Where else in this fine nation will you find the more corruption than in Washington D.C. As far as this SC goes, I doubt if any of these pukes will resign if GW stays on. But even if they do I doubt if GW has the gumption to allow conservatives on the SC. He's still a pawn of the NWO.
20 posted on 10/31/2003 9:52:23 AM PST by Digger
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To: jmcclain19
O'Connor has had this view for a long time. She's a judicial activist and one-worlder who couldn't care less about the US Constitution or her oath to uphold it. Same story with 5 other justices.
21 posted on 10/31/2003 9:54:54 AM PST by Bonaparte
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Atlanta Journal-Constitution

U.S. justice is honored
O'Connor says court has its ear to the world
The U.S. judiciary should pay more attention to international court decisions to help enrich our nation's standing abroad, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said Tuesday.

"The impressions we create in this world are important and they can leave their mark," O'Connor said.

On the whole, the U.S. judicial system leaves a favorable impression around the world, she said "but when it comes to the impression created by the treatment of foreign and international law and the United States court, the jury is still out."

The 73-year-old justice, considered by many to be the most influential member of the nation's highest court, made her remarks to a dinner sponsored by the Southern Center for International Studies.

O'Connor received the Atlanta center's World Justice Award at the dinner at the Marriott hotel in Buckhead.

Former Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Dorothy Toth Beasley presented O'Connor with the award.

For decades, O'Connor said, U.S. courts declined to consider international law when reaching important decisions.

But in recent years, she said, the U.S. Supreme Court began acknowledging the thoughts of the global community.

The first such case was decided in 2002 when the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to execute the mentally retarded, she said. In arriving at that decision, O'Connor said, the high court noted that the world community overwhelmingly disapproved of the practice.

Also influential was a court brief filed by American diplomats who discussed the difficulties confronted in their foreign missions because of U.S. death penalty practices, she said.

The second ruling cited by O'Connor was, as she called it, "the famous or perhaps infamous case," in which the Supreme Court overturned the Texas anti-sodomy law.

In that decision, the Supreme Court majority relied partly on a series of decisions by European courts on the same issue, O'Connor said.

"I suspect," O'Connor said, "that over time we will rely increasingly, or take notice at least increasingly, on international and foreign courts in examining domestic issues."

Doing so, she added, "may not only enrich our own country's decisions, I think it may create that all important good impression."


22 posted on 10/31/2003 9:55:40 AM PST by george wythe
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To: stop_fascism
Impeach her. Now.
23 posted on 10/31/2003 9:57:26 AM PST by BlessedBeGod
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To: stop_fascism
Doing so, she added, 'may not only enrich our own country's decisions, I think it may create that all important good impression.'"

Hmm. And here I thought the Supreme Court was supposed to follow the U.S. Constitution. Silly me. Next, she'll start making decisions based on the U.N. Charter.

--Boris

24 posted on 10/31/2003 9:58:29 AM PST by boris (The deadliest Weapon of Mass Destruction in History is a Leftist With a Word Processor)
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To: justshutupandtakeit
Before jumping to the conclusion she should be drawn and quartered wouldn't it be appropriate to have her actual speech?,

I agree

And I am hoping it is a lot different what I just read

25 posted on 10/31/2003 10:00:56 AM PST by Mo1 (http://www.favewavs.com/wavs/cartoons/spdemocrats.wav)
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To: BlessedBeGod
She has violated her oath of office. She is a danger to this country. I expect gun control will be next on her list. At best she is senile. Surely there must be some way to remove her.
26 posted on 10/31/2003 10:04:15 AM PST by Dante3
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To: stop_fascism
In 2002, she said, the high court regarded world opinion when it ruled executing the mentally retarded to be unconstitutional.

Is there a world constitution? The only bearing world opinion has on our laws is through our values as a society. These can make it into law through our elected representatives. Yo! O'Connor! That's how it's done constitutionally!

How in the world do you rule something unconstitutional based on something extraconstitutional and keep a straight face?

Impeach... NOW!

27 posted on 10/31/2003 10:04:37 AM PST by pgyanke ("The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God" - C.S. Lewis)
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To: stop_fascism
I guess Sandra must be drinkning the potion too.
28 posted on 10/31/2003 10:05:35 AM PST by Wiggins
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To: stop_fascism
"world opinion"

Decided, reported and edited by whom?

29 posted on 10/31/2003 10:07:57 AM PST by Shermy
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To: stop_fascism
I think it may create that all important good impression.

The Martha Stewart of the Supreme Court?

She's gotta go... soon!

30 posted on 10/31/2003 10:12:08 AM PST by ItsForTheChildren
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To: Frank_Discussion
This absolutely is a ground for impeachment. The oath she swore specifically says she will uphold the Constitution. The problem is, of course, now it's a 'living document', open to interpretation. NOT!
31 posted on 10/31/2003 10:14:12 AM PST by ysoitanly
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To: Mo1
And I am hoping it is a lot different what I just read

I would really hope so.!

This statement is beyond the pale, if not taken out of context. It is really imperative that President Bush, and the Senate Republicans, get down in the trenches with the rat obstructionists, and win the battle over President Bush's nominee's!!

32 posted on 10/31/2003 10:14:45 AM PST by woodyinscc
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To: woodyinscc
It is really imperative that President Bush, and the Senate Republicans, get down in the trenches with the rat obstructionists, and win the battle over President Bush's nominee's!!

I agree

33 posted on 10/31/2003 10:22:28 AM PST by Mo1 (http://www.favewavs.com/wavs/cartoons/spdemocrats.wav)
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To: ysoitanly
I think she should demonstrate her committment to internationalism by driving on the left side of the road.
34 posted on 10/31/2003 10:27:03 AM PST by talleyman (Treason is as treason does.)
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To: Mo1
Hey, wait a minute.

Couldn't one argue that Ten Commandents are international laws as well? Moses didn't get them in Alabama, you know.
35 posted on 10/31/2003 10:29:34 AM PST by GeorgiaMike
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To: stop_fascism
American courts need to pay more attention to international legal decisions to help create a more favorable impression abroad...

And we need to impeach a gaggle of NWO SCOTUS "justices!"

36 posted on 10/31/2003 10:31:35 AM PST by JesseHousman (Execute Mumia Abu-Jamal)
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To: stop_fascism
Some of you sound as if you think by simply looking, for mere reference, at what a court in Europe has done, O'Connor is subjugating the U.S. Supreme Court to the precedents of the European courts. I sincerely hope you know better.

Listening to the views of others and gaining a perspective on both sides of an argument is what a good judge should do. Interested parties of all stripes, from the John Birchers to the ACLU, can file an amicus brief with the court. No one seems to have a problem with that.

I think there are a lot of people here reading WAY too much into this. The Supreme Court is well within its right to take into consideration any perspectives and opinions it might deem appropriate. In fact, it's quite prudent of them to do so.

37 posted on 10/31/2003 10:46:57 AM PST by tdadams
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To: stop_fascism
Who says O'Conner is a conservative? She's a fruitcake. Judges should not just ignore our own law and use foreign laws instead unless they want to be impeached.
38 posted on 10/31/2003 10:55:55 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: tdadams
How does world opinion effect the meaning of the constitution?

Good judges at the Supreme Court level should apply the constitution. Period.

I have a huge problem with amicus briefs by the ACLU. They have become legal brownshirts. They take a ridiculous opinion, then find a liberal judge to support it. Voila, legislation from the bench. Mix in a Supreme court that believes our laws should be based on European opinion, and you have a government based on liberal fads.

Now that with have the "right to buggery" is the right to bugger children far behind? (no pun intended).
39 posted on 10/31/2003 10:55:56 AM PST by stop_fascism
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To: stop_fascism
How does world opinion effect the meaning of the constitution?

You say this as if our constitution isn't subject to any interpretation whatsoever. If that's the case, then what's the purpose of amicus briefs? Why are there two differing opinions presented in the court? Why is there a Supreme Court at all? If everything is so settled, so cut and dry, there should be no dispute and no use for a court.

Of course, that's silly and disingenuous. But no more so than the rhetoric of those inferring that O'Connor is subjugating the U.S. Constitution to European courts.

40 posted on 10/31/2003 11:32:17 AM PST by tdadams
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To: tdadams
As far as I can see, there are two reasons that the Supremes are needed. One, legislatures keep passing laws. Someone has to determine if they meet constitutional muster.

Second, new situations arise, and the constitution has to be interpreted in light of those situations. For instance, the internet is not mentioned in the constitution. However, it seems reasonable that those parts of the constituion that apply to a printing press apply to the internet.

In either case, how does one interpret the constituion? First the judges might try reading it. That is the Clarence Thomas method. If it is somehow ambiguous, you can go to the writings of those who created the constitution, and see what they meant. That's the Bork method.

The method that O'Connor is recommending is that you ignore the constitution, put your finger in the wind, and rule in what ever way happens to be popular. Today, that's European Socialist opinion. Tomorrow, it might be Scharia. In either case, its just wrong.

We have a constituion, that has served us well. If it needs to be updated, there is an amendment process. If I wanted to be ruled by European opinion, I'd move to Europe.
41 posted on 10/31/2003 12:12:39 PM PST by stop_fascism
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To: stop_fascism
The 73-year-old justice proves she's senile and should be removed.
42 posted on 10/31/2003 12:12:41 PM PST by Darksheare (I'm young, at the top of my game, full of youthful energy, so call me Perfidious Rex.)
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To: stop_fascism
The method that O'Connor is recommending is that you ignore the constitution, put your finger in the wind, and rule in what ever way happens to be popular. Today, that's European Socialist opinion. Tomorrow, it might be Scharia.

Hmm, yeah, I don't think so. I wonder, do you hear Martians speaking to you through your dental fillings?

43 posted on 10/31/2003 1:52:39 PM PST by tdadams
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To: tdadams
That's uncalled for. It's amazing how quickly some people around here stoop to ad hominem attacks.
44 posted on 10/31/2003 2:36:50 PM PST by stop_fascism
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To: stop_fascism
a package of 34 treaties, all of which were ratified by a show of hands -- no recorded vote.
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3a325b3f5d31.htm



Annan in historic meeting with Supreme Court &Congress/is believed to be unprecedented.
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b0c30a81760.htm






45 posted on 10/31/2003 4:07:11 PM PST by veryone
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To: stop_fascism
Why , oh why will none of our Congressional "representatives" ever consider impeaching any of these federal philosopher kings when they make legal rulings that are not founded in constitutional or common law? NOW we have to worry about them using furrin' law for precedent. SHEESH!
46 posted on 10/31/2003 5:52:29 PM PST by DMZFrank
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To: stop_fascism; Stingray51
I could, perhaps, entertain the position that US courts could observe the development of certain issues in the courts of other common law countries. For example, on a theoretical issue that has not been litigated in the US, but has a 60 year litigation history in Australia, it would be worthwhile to observe the consequences that certain rulings have had over time in order to try not to make the same mistakes here that might have been made in Australia. However, European courts in particular are not common law, and so by paying attention to them you are really just paying attention to the European politicians.
47 posted on 10/31/2003 5:58:50 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: stop_fascism
Maybe so, but I'm bewildered by some of the rhetoric around here that's simply, plainly without any credibility. I mean, really, I have to wonder what you're thinking when you say that the U.S. Supreme Court may very well adopt rulings of Sharia law. I'm simply bewildered by that statement.

Do you honestly believe that? If so, I really do think you're out of touch with reality and what I said wasn't an ad hominem. I hope maybe you made that statement in a hasty bit of hyperbole, but if you stand by that then I really do wonder about your mental health.

48 posted on 10/31/2003 6:34:41 PM PST by tdadams
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To: Ingtar
Impeach her!

/////////////
Right. I expect Senator Milquetoast (R-Anystate) to introduce such a measure on the floor of the Senate shortly after hell freezes over.
49 posted on 10/31/2003 6:36:31 PM PST by BenR2 ((John 3:16: Still True Today.))
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To: tdadams
Maybe so, but I'm bewildered by some of the rhetoric around here that's simply, plainly without any credibility. I mean, really, I have to wonder what you're thinking when you say that the U.S. Supreme Court may very well adopt rulings of Sharia law. I'm simply bewildered by that statement.

///////////////////
Uhh. Hello? Endorsing the gay agenda (by a majority of the Supreme Court) would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.

Try to think ahead a few years. Your bewilderment is much overdone.






50 posted on 10/31/2003 6:38:38 PM PST by BenR2 ((John 3:16: Still True Today.))
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