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What Happened to "We the People"? (Foreign law as precedent for American courts)
The Claremont Institute ^ | March 18, 2005 | Alex Runner

Posted on 03/18/2005 9:54:26 AM PST by quidnunc

Earlier this year, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer faced off for a friendly debate at American University's Washington College of Law. Both justices evinced a warm admiration for each other as individuals, but there was no question about their strong disagreement over the topic at hand: the Constitutional relevance of foreign court decisions. Their discussion provided a rare glimpse into the dueling philosophies brought to the fore by the recent Roper vs. Simmons case, which ruled that minors cannot face the death penalty.

"You talk about [how] it's nice to know that we're on the right track — that we have the same moral and legal framework as the rest of the world. But we don't have the same moral and legal framework as the rest of the world, and never have," said Justice Scalia, a former University of Chicago law professor. "If you told the framers of the Constitution that what we're after is to, you know, do something that will be just like Europe, they would have been appalled."

Breyer, a former Harvard law professor, replied that the world is getting smaller, and Americans can learn a lot from other nations — about the death penalty or any other issue. "Well it's relevant in the sense that you have a person who's a judge, who has similar training, who's trying to, let's say, apply a similar document, something like 'cruel and unusual,'" he offered. "And really, it isn't true that England is the moon, nor is India."

Scalia's main criticism of citing foreign law in Supreme Court decisions — a practice employed by Justices Breyer and Kennedy, and gaining wider legitimacy — is that "it lends itself to manipulation." When justices can't find compelling arguments within the existing body of American jurisprudence, they turn to foreign decisions to make the case.

-snip-


TOPICS: Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: globalism; internationallaw; scalia; scotus; stephenbreyer

1 posted on 03/18/2005 9:54:26 AM PST by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc

It should be obvious to ALL Americans... It's now "YOU" the people... and will continue to be that way until "WE" the people do something about those in government!


2 posted on 03/18/2005 9:57:43 AM PST by odoso (Millions for charity, but not one penny for tribute!)
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To: quidnunc
What Happened to "We the People"? (Foreign law as precedent for American courts)?

What Happened to "We the Peoples"? (Pluralism's 'Supreme' Court law?)

Schizoid Constional WorldVIEWS held by the 'Peoples'?

/British? ProZoidPhrenia?

3 posted on 03/18/2005 10:01:33 AM PST by maestro
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To: quidnunc
So let me get this straight....

Minors are not responsible enough for their own actions, so we cannot put them to death. However, they are allowed to drive at 16, and have abortions without their parents consent? What kind of backwards world do these liberals live in?

4 posted on 03/18/2005 10:03:16 AM PST by WBurgVACon
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To: quidnunc

The shadows in the Constitution have apparently covered up that little phrase.


5 posted on 03/18/2005 10:15:55 AM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real political victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: WBurgVACon

I take it you were never 16... They can't drink, can't smoke, can't vote, can't fight, can't use heavy equipment, etc,etc... WHY do you think these restrictions exist? Because sometimes teenagers just don't THINK.


6 posted on 03/18/2005 10:22:23 AM PST by NY-YANK
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To: quidnunc

The Founding Fathers gave a tip of the hat to foreign opinion in the Declaration of Independence and then proceeded to do as they pleased. Foreign opinion has no legal weight in the Constitution, other than Treaty's. Scalia is doing the Constitution a great service by ridiculing Kennedy. I hope Bush nominates and gets Scalia confirmed as Chief Justice.


7 posted on 03/18/2005 10:24:00 AM PST by elbucko (A Feral Republican)
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To: NY-YANK

So, we shouldn't be allowed to put them to death for heinous crimes because "boys will be boys...."???


8 posted on 03/18/2005 10:25:13 AM PST by WBurgVACon
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To: quidnunc

Other nations can learn a lot from Americans


9 posted on 03/18/2005 10:26:27 AM PST by expatguy (http://laotze.blogspot.com/)
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To: NY-YANK

So, if they don't think, why should they be allowed to drive??


10 posted on 03/18/2005 10:27:47 AM PST by WBurgVACon
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Laws should be upheld or dumped based upon "We the Peoples" constitutional and moral standards. Any one who bases their decisions on what "they" do is just looking for a fight.


11 posted on 03/18/2005 10:31:18 AM PST by NY-YANK
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To: WBurgVACon
Lock-em up, keep an eye on them. If they don't show any promise by time their life is half over, throw away the key for all I care. When your only 16 the possibility of having a second chance down the road could change a person, especially if it was a split second of blatant cocky stupidity that put you there.
12 posted on 03/18/2005 10:49:09 AM PST by NY-YANK
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To: NY-YANK
a split second of blatant cocky stupidity that put you there.

We're talking MURDERERS. I don't care how old they were when they comitted the crime. Take for example, The D.C. sniper case. Would you call that a split-second decision?? The death penalty isn't even applied in all of the murder cases in this country. What you are advocating is "boys will be boys.." That is ludicrous.

When your only 16 the possibility of having a second chance down the road could change a person

What second chance? If they were already sentenced to death, the sentence then reverts to Life in Prison, without the possibility of parole. So, they are locked up forever anyway.

13 posted on 03/18/2005 10:55:46 AM PST by WBurgVACon
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To: WBurgVACon
So, if they don't think, why should they be allowed to drive??

Driving is a privilege that can be taken away from those who fail to behave responsibly and its a MAJOR loss when its taken away, ask any 16 year old.

14 posted on 03/18/2005 11:05:21 AM PST by NY-YANK
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To: NY-YANK

Teenagers, as a group, cause the most accidents per capita than any other age group. All I am saying is that, if they are not responsible for their actions, why should they be allowed to drive around in a 3000 lb death machine?


15 posted on 03/18/2005 11:07:29 AM PST by WBurgVACon
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To: WBurgVACon
The D.C. sniper case.

Wasn't that kid being influenced by an adult accomplice? Not to justify his actions in anyway, he is obviously guilty.

The point is that minors are treated differently than adults for a reason. If a cut-off point can be agreed upon I'll back it, I have no problem with the death penalty for cut and dry murders.

16 posted on 03/18/2005 11:25:54 AM PST by NY-YANK
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To: NY-YANK
These "minors" were charged as adults for a reason. There was an article in the Daily Press (Virginia) that details one case in which the killers were brothers. The older brother was 19 at the time, the younger brother 17. Both were sentenced to death after they killed a Highway Patrol trooper, and a Sheriff's deputy. Seems they were staying with their grandparents in South Carolina when they robbed a finance company worker, stole a car, and drove north on I-95. When they were pulled over for driving a stolen car, the older brother opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, gravely wounding both men. Then, if that wasn't bad enough, the younger brother took the Trooper's pistol and killed them at point-blank range. So, now since the SC ruled minors can't be put to death, the younger brother has been taken off of death row.

I guess you could claim that the younger one was "influenced" by his older brother. Killers are killers. Period. I dont care how old they are. These two caculatedly killed two law enforcement officers in cold blood. They BOTH deserve to die.

17 posted on 03/18/2005 11:46:21 AM PST by WBurgVACon
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To: WBurgVACon
why should they be allowed to drive around in a 3000 lb death machine?

When I was 17 I was hit by a 50 some year old lady with her 4,000 lb van and have been hit twice since by people over 20. Experience comes with time and from my point of view I'm not seeing your side of the debate.

18 posted on 03/18/2005 11:57:23 AM PST by NY-YANK
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To: WBurgVACon
"I dont care how old they are"

Really...In 1994, 13 year old Eric Smith was convicted of choking and battering the life out of 4-year-old Derrick Robie. A jury unanimously found Smith guilty of murder in the second degree.


19 posted on 03/18/2005 12:08:07 PM PST by NY-YANK
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To: NY-YANK

i'm glad he was found guilty. and, I'll say it again...I don't care how old they are. Why does he deserve to live?


20 posted on 03/18/2005 12:44:41 PM PST by WBurgVACon
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To: WBurgVACon

Well I guess if your for capital punishment for ages 13 and under, your either a tough nut to crack or your just having fun with me... </>


21 posted on 03/18/2005 1:10:13 PM PST by NY-YANK
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