Skip to comments.What Happened to "We the People"? (Foreign law as precedent for American courts)
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.
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!
What Happened to "We the Peoples"? (Pluralism's 'Supreme' Court law?)
Schizoid Constional WorldVIEWS held by the 'Peoples'?
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?
The shadows in the Constitution have apparently covered up that little phrase.
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.
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.
So, we shouldn't be allowed to put them to death for heinous crimes because "boys will be boys...."???
Other nations can learn a lot from Americans
So, if they don't think, why should they be allowed to drive??
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?