Skip to comments.The Magical Kingdom of the Globalized Supreme Court
Posted on 04/04/2005 11:42:22 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
"Nothing in the Constitution has given them (the federal judges) a right to decide for the Executive, more than the Executive to decide for them The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch." -- Thomas Jefferson (letter to Abigail Adams, September 11, 1804)
Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan must be tossing and turning a bit.
Jefferson, anticipating, with trepidation, activism in the judicial branch, eloquently expressed his apprehension regarding such behavior.
Reagans heralded selection to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sandra Day OConnor, has, in recent years, become an aficionada of international law. With the cheerful assist of her colleague, Anthony Kennedy, another Reagan appointee, the court recently found against imposition of the death penalty for 16- and 17-year-old murderers. Roper v. Simmons is notable not only for the depravity of the murderous act, but also the fact that 17-year-old, cold-blooded killer Christopher Simmons bragged to his friends that they could get away with their hideous crime due to their tender years. Young Simmons proposed to his chums that they break into the victims home, bind her with duct tape and electrical wire, tape her face, cloak her head in towels, and fling her off a railroad trestle to her death in the icy river below. A few hours later, the vicious act was underway.
Just an extra-curricular activity for rambunctious boys with a bit of time on their hands. Must we take their mischief so seriously?
In their opinion, the justices spoke of the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society. Make no mistake, however. These standards apply neither to the victims nor to the nature of the crimes. The nouveau standards apply to the perpetrators. As to the maturing society, even at the inception of our nation, the maturity of the founders put these out-of-touch justices to shame. Laws based upon our Constitution appear quaint vestiges of another time to these enlightened internationalists, who prefer to reference the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child rather than the U.S. Constitution. Justice Stephen Breyer has invoked the rulings of the Supreme Courts of Zimbabwe, India and the Privy Council of Jamaica to support his rulings.
Columnist Jonah Goldberg recently quoted Breyer as having said, "These are human beings called judges who have problems that are similar to our own. Why don't I read what he says if it is similar enough?"
In Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 decision legalizing sodomy, the Supreme Court audaciously acknowledged taking the laws of other nations into consideration. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, referenced both the laws of Northern Ireland and the European Court of Human Rights: "Other nations have taken action consistent with an affirmation of the protected right of homosexual adults to engage in intimate, consensual conduct."
Justice Kennedy veered not a millimeter from his globalistic stance while writing for the majority of the court in overturning statutes that apply capital punishment for murderers under age 18. "It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty. The opinion of the world community, while not controlling our outcome, does provide respected and significant confirmation for our own conclusions."
Justice OConnor concurs, envisioning we "will find ourselves looking more frequently to the decisions of other constitutional courts." Globalization is creating "one world," she reasons, and the future challenge for the court will be to determine how "our Constitution fits into the governing documents of other nations. Conclusions reached by other countries and by the international community, she maintains, should at times constitute persuasive authority in American courts."
The evidence that prior to the commission of his crime, Christopher Simmons stated his desire to murder someone, merits little concern. Neither does the fact that 19 states have chosen to enforce the ultimate penalty for such wickedness. Currently there are close to 70 underage murderers on death rows throughout the country. This opinion of a few negates the considered opinions of nearly a thousand jurors deciding the cases of these depraved teen killers.
Yet in a trend that should alarm all Americans, our esteemed jurists have once again concluded that the laws of other countries now supersede the U.S. Constitution. No longer bound by our venerated documents, the court is unconstrained in reaching whatever ruling suits their whims. In fact, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, addressing the American Constitutional Society in 2003, voiced her hope that America would reject its insulated attitude when interpreting our own Constitution, stating, Our island or lone ranger mentality is beginning to change. Our Justices . . . are becoming more open to comparative and international law perspectives.
This is the same court which mysteriously found the right to kill the unborn tucked away in the previously undetected constitutional right to personal privacy, as well as the right to personal liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when deciding Roe v. Wade.
Imagine Walt Disneys surprise had he realized he provided a theme song for the globally sensitive U.S. Supreme Court Justices when the naive and repetitive lyrics to "Its a Small World," were penned.
Whatever happened to "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic"?????
If we can't rely upon the mullahs - oops - I mean the Supreme Court - to interpret the Constitution's original intent and place it into today's legal world, then what? I know, we'll merely have to rely upon the written intent of those founders whenever possible, relying upon the strict interpretation as generally cited by Justice Thomas.
If the Supremes want to dabble in International Law, then they need to remove themselves from the US bench and go to Brussels. Period. Or be impeached.
I'd be curious to know to what extent courts in other countries seek confirmation in the opinions of the United States. Do these justices propose imposing U.S. values on other countries in the name of globalism or merely imposing the values of other countries on us?
Actually, Australian courts regularly use U.S. precedent when there is not relevant Australian precedent.
And, it was quite customary, and unexceptional for U.S. courts to use British precedents (esp. those set pre-U.S. independence), particularly in matters relating to common law.