Skip to comments.Is Relying On Foreign Law An Impeachable Offense?
Posted on 03/16/2005 11:19:13 AM PST by Tailgunner Joe
"By what conceivable warrant can nine lawyers presume to be the authoritative conscience of the Nation?" So asked an incredulous Justice Antonin Scalia in response to the latest outrage by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Five activist justices (not even nine) just imposed their personal social preference on every American voter, state legislator, congressman, and juror. Adding insult to injury, the supremacist five used foreign laws, "international opinion," and even an unratified treaty to rationalize overturning more than 200 years of American law and history.
Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion in Roper v. Simmons is a prime example of liberal judges changing our Constitution based on their judge-invented notion that its meaning is "evolving." He presumed to rewrite the Eighth Amendment.
The murder involved in this case was particularly heinous. Christopher Simmons persuaded a fellow teenager to help him commit a brutal murder after assuring him they could "get away with it" because they were both under age eighteen.
Simmons met his pal at 2 a.m. and they broke into Shirley Crook's home as she slept. Simmons and his fellow teenager bound her hands, covered her eyes with duct tape, put her in her own minivan, and drove to a state park.
There they hog-tied her hands and feet together with electrical wire, wrapped her entire face in duct tape, and threw her body from a railroad trestle into the Meramec River. Mrs. Crook drowned helplessly, and her body was found later by fishermen.
Showing no remorse, Simmons bragged about his killing to his friends, declaring that he did it "because the bitch seen my face." He confessed quickly after his arrest and even agreed to reenact the crime on video.
A jury of his peers listened to his attorney's argument that youthful indiscretion should mitigate punishment; the jury observed Simmons' demeanor at trial and heard from a slew of witnesses. After an exhaustive trial and full consideration of age as a factor, the jury and judge imposed the death sentence as allowed by Missouri law.
The American system allows a jury to recommend life-or-death following due process and the applicable law enacted by the representatives of the people of the state. Nothing in the text or history of the Eighth Amendment denies Missouri juries and state legislatures the right to make this decision.
The Supreme Court's main argument was the "trend" since 1989 that seven countries (Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Congo, and China) have banned juvenile capital punishment. Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Stevens and Souter changed U.S. law so we can follow the lead of those seven countries.
Only four U.S. states have legislated against the juvenile death penalty since 1989 (but none of them was executing juveniles anyway). On the other hand, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia all allow the death penalty for a seventeen-year-old who commits a particularly shocking murder.
The supremacist five claimed that most other countries don't execute seventeen-year-olds. However, most other countries don't have capital punishment at all, so there is no distinction between seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds.
Furthermore, most other countries don't allow jury trials or other Bill of Rights guarantees, so who knows if the accused ever gets what we would call a fair trial? Over 90 percent of jury trials are in the United States, and we certainly don't want to conform to non-jury-trial countries.
The supremacist five must think they can dictate evolution of the meaning of treaties as well as of the text of the Constitution.
They cited the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which our Senate year after year has refused to ratify. They also cited the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which we ratified only with a reservation specifically excluding the matter of juvenile capital punishment.
DC sniper Lee Malvo was seventeen during his infamous killing rampage, so now serial killers like him won't have to worry about the death penalty. The terrorists and the vicious Salvadoran gangs will be able to assign seventeen-year-olds as their hit men so they can "get away with it."
We recall that the Supreme Court ruled in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 that it could not overturnRoe v. Wade because that might undermine "the Court's legitimacy." But in the Simmons case, the Court flatly overturned its own decision about juvenile capital punishment in Stanford v. Kentucky only 16 years ago.
As Justice Scalia pointed out in dissent, the Court's invocation of foreign law is both contrived and disingenuous. The big majority of countries reject U.S.-style abortion on demand, so the supremacist justices conveniently omitted that "international opinion."
Our runaway judiciary is badly in need of restraint by Congress. A good place to start would be a law declaring it an impeachable offense for justices to rely on foreign law in overriding the U.S. Constitution or congressional or state law.
I think bringing foreign laws into play in an American court is actually a capital offense.
IMO, yes. It clearly violates their oath to uphold OUR Constitution and it's principles in favor of foreign principles.
"Is Relying On Foreign Law An Impeachable Offense?"
Nah. Let's bring in Spartan law. Then everyone gets mad.
Seriously, yes it's impeachable. Foreign law could result theoretically into manditory abortion, like in China.
They have violated the oath and should be removed for cause. But they won't be.
Hey, we have a democracy in which instead of 100 million people, only 9 lawyers are allowed to vote. Live with it.
If we are going to enact foreign laws in this country than lets castrate rapists and take the hands of thieves and gouge out eyes of spies. Lets do public caning and hanging while we are at it.
That is why they are called the Supreme. We out here in the hinderland are just taking up space.
Absolutely! It also illustrates that this oath means nothing to the activist Supreme Court Justice. The promise to uphold the Constitution has become just so much symbolic rhetoric to them, and with that, their honor has vanished.
Can a supreme court ruling be overturned as unconstitional because it violates our constitution? If so, is there a higher power above the supreme court that could/would issue such a ruling?
I believe the only way to overturn a ruling by the supreme court is to bring up s similar matter again in a separate case.
If the Supreme court makes a decision that is unconstitutional, who calls them on that?
Yes, they have violated their oath. But as you say, they will not be impeached. I doubt that a single one of the 435 representatives gave more than 5 seconds thought of actually introducing a bill of impeachment in the House.
Foreign laws like ancient Hebrew laws? Yes I do think it is a bad idea.
"[N]ow that constitutional law is solidly grounded in so many countries, it is time that the United States courts begin looking to the decisions of other constitutional courts to aid in their own deliberative process." -- Chief Justice Rhenquist, "Constitutional Courts - Comparative Remarks" (1989)
I agree with you. If we are going to start enforcing foreign laws in the United States of America why should THEY get to choose which foreign laws are to be enforced!!!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.