Skip to comments.Justice O’Connor’s Remarks Raise Concerns
Posted on 11/08/2004 12:48:55 PM PST by Conservative Coulter Fan
A disturbing trend toward reliance on international law can be seen in the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, and recent remarks by Justice Sandra Day OConnor fuel concerns about this trend.
Justice OConnor, speaking on October 27 at a dedication ceremony for an international law center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., hailed this development.
International law has emerged in ways that affect all courts, here and abroad, she said. The reason is globalization. Its importance should not be underestimated.
She applauded the increased role, saying: International law, which is the expression of agreement on some basic principles of relations between nations, will be a factor or a force in gaining a greater consensus among all nations. ... It can be and it is a help in our search for a more peaceful world.
Notions of greater consensus among nations and a more peaceful world sound so positive. But what exactly will the consensus be?
Justice OConnor also said: Acting in accord with international norms may increase the chances for development of broader alliances or at least silent support from other nations.
The problem is: Who will decide the norms we will all be required to follow in this big happy global family? Didnt our nation fight a Revolutionary War so that we could enjoy freedom from European government?
Taking the argument one step further, Justice OConnor said: Because of the scope of the problems we face, understanding international law is no longer just a legal specialty; it is becoming a duty.
These comments come in the wake of several key U.S. Supreme Court decisions that show an increasing deference to international law.
In the Lawrence v. Texas sodomy case, the Court told the state of Texas it could not enforce a criminal statute enacted by its Legislature. The will of the people of Texas, as expressed through the elected representatives, was made null and void by a court that relied in part on guidance from the European Council for Human Rights and the United Nations.
In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy derided an earlier Court opinion by Chief Justice Warren Burger with its sweeping references to the history of Western civilization and our Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards. Instead, Kennedy looked to a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, finding this [o]f even more importance.
Something similar happened in Grutter v. Bollinger, a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court affirmative action case. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in her concurring opinion in which Justice Stephen Breyer joined, approved the Courts decision on grounds that it accords with the international understanding of the office of affirmative action. She cited, among other international legal sources, the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, a treaty which the U.S. Senate has refused to ratify and which CWA strongly opposes.
Justice Ginsburg, in a speech last year to a liberal legal group called the American Constitution Society, stated that our Lone Ranger mentality is beginning to change, as judges are becoming more open to comparative and international law perspectives.
When the U.S. Supreme Court prefers the guidance of unelected, foreign groups over American democratic processes, we the people become we the subjects of a globalized viewpoint. This viewpoint is not likely to be based on the Scriptures.
Surely, this trend would not amuse the Founding Fathers. Since when do the U.S. Constitution and laws take on a lesser role?
One reflects back to July 4, 2003, when Justice OConnor received the Liberty Medal at a ceremony to open Philadelphias new museum honoring the U.S. Constitution. There, during the unveiling of a tableau of the signing of the Constitution, a stage frame fell and narrowly missed the Justice, while striking Sen. Arlen Specter in the arm.
We must pray that God will grant mercy and Godly wisdom to all the members of the judiciary and our elected officials.
We must watch the disturbing trend toward reliance upon international law. Concerned Women for America (CWA) will continue to shine the spotlight on the workings of the judiciary, so that we the people can cry out for our voices to be heard.
Anne Downey is a Christian attorney who practices law with her husband in New York. She is a member of the Christian Legal Society, an Alliance Defense Fund ally, and is volunteering her services to CWAs Legal Studies Department.
Another piece of evidence that a 'living constitution' is in the works by the liberal left.
On the bright side, she is known to want to retire.
Maybe we should cut and paste the impeachment laws from the scottish constitution.
Thankfully, Bush will get to replace her and Ginsberg. It would be great if Kennedy and souter wanted to retire.
Why would any American justice care about information from international courts when their laws do not apply here?
The only rule of law this senile broad needs to worry about is the US Constitution and US law. Was she this bad when Reagan appointed her to the court? Or has old age crept in and attacked her brain?
I don't think she's senile. She's just "grown."
What is the process for impeachment?
Simply stated, it's an abuse of judicial power.
This crazy SCOTUS member is advocating one-world govt. She's either senile or desperately needs hormone injections. Down with O'Connor!
Well considering that ther role of the SCOTUS has absolutely nothing to do with "International Law" on any level and everything to do with the constitution of the United States any assertions in that regard are purely specualtions of a wandering mind
I hope that retirement is in the cards for her reaaalll soon, she can always move over to France I hear they have a very international flair and appeal there.
priscilla owen would be nice
Justice O'Connor should be forced to step down based on obvious senility. Our highest law is the Constitution of the United States of America, not the U.N. charter.
Yep, Globalism is figment of our imagination. Go back to sleep.
I wish I had a penny for every time someone had said this to me over the years.
For the sake of the country, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court...I hope Justice O'Connor retires. She should be impeached.
Don't know much about her . . . But I just did a Google search and all the howling and gnashing of teeth by the MSM over her makes her sound like a GREAT candidate! :-)
Article 3, Section 2, paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution makes it very clear: "In all other Cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."
Conservatives in the Senate need to ask this one question of all future court nominess: "To what extent should international law or the laws of other nations have upon the laws of this nation?"
"Grown" more senile.
International law should have no bearing within our borders or concerns. If agreement is to be found with other nations that is a treaty matter and given to the Senate to address, not the Supreme Court.
It would be the same as the Clinton Impeachment...first the House would vote on impeachment...if a justice was impeached...like Clinton was...then it goes to the Senate where he (or she) would be tried...then hopefully the Senate votes to remove him or her.
She is leaning more and more left. Scary.
The problem is that the Supreme Court is relying on International Law and not the U.S. Constitution...as cited in examples above such as the Supreme Court striking down a Texas law on sodomy.
W may appoint as many as 4 justices this term, and that is why we need to work this issue hard with our Senators and with the President.
I support the impeachment of Justice O'Connor.
Add the Arizona sun to an already addled senescent brain and you have..... Sandra Day O'Connor!!!
Carrying on in the tradition of Justices Douglas and Warren.
We need to put a stop to this NOW!!!!!
She needs to be impeached.
God might retire her naturally !
They need to be forced to read the writings of the founding fathers as well.
You fail to note her definition of "international" law is just that body of law AGREED upon which are shared by nations. It is NOT something created in France and forced down the throats of the US.
I just heard Sean Hannity say that he will have on .Senator Spector today. I don't know what time. Those of you in the East may have already heard him.
He's also going to have on John O'Neill of the SBVTS>
I recall an opinion last year(I think) where Justice Kennedy mentioned "International Law" in some majority opinion. I nearly fell out of my chair, but didn't think about it further. The Federal courts should look at nothing but the US CONSTITUTION, if they go off to "International Law" they are blurring the lines between courts and foreign policy. This would be tragic.
I think you're being naive on that point.
What is this all pervasive trend to "One World" rule - The "world" can't take care of itself. It's a total mess - or yeah, we want the French and Germans weighing in our court cases...this is really getting scary
We need Thomas for our next Chief Justice - and pray "W: gets to put in at min 3 more! People that recognize OUR CONSTITUTION is our law...our country is sovereign
Spoken like a member of the USSR's politburo.
Just what America needs: more socialist/commies in the soopreme kort.
She's a big one-world government proponent and you don't want to admit it. She, and others on the bench, are dangerous to America.
No it is consistent with what has been said in the past by O'Connor. No remarks have suggested applying international law contrary to the constitution. At worst she suggested earlier that where there is silence in the Constitution it would be reasonable to "consider" iL. This is normal jurisprudence with a long tradition behind it. Our early laws were made with English law in mind and Blackstone and Coke were the first authorities consulted on any legal question.
In addition we have from our beginning taken Maritime Law (which is a form of international law) as part of our code.
These fears are overblown and only generated by taking things out of context. They aren't terribly realistic. There are not a lot of things different between our laws and international law. Most differences are fairly minor.
Another point is that "international" law means European law since the Islamic nations and LDCs are never included.
No she is not see #44. I have no reason to defend her particularly if unwarranted.
45 not 44
Okay, you asked for it. Justice OConnor is advocating a consensus among nations and shes saying that international law is just that, and that my friend is all the ammunition I need because the Supreme Court is supposed to interpret that United States Constitution and it isnt supposed to rely upon any sort of rulings by foreign court or international law. Consensus has been a preferred agent of change for the left. Its like capital punishment. The ACLU and others on the loony left always make it a point to say were the last industrialized nation that still has capital punishment. Thats why the Europeans have threatened to economically sanction the state of Texas. Consensus is about corralling us in the herd.
Keep it Up! Conservative Coulter Fan: I agree with you totally. I saw that quote by Ginsberg a while back and it put a knot in my stomach.
Now, with this Specter thing, I think WE THE PEOPLE need to turn these justices around and point them back to America soil and law.