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Justice Breyer takes a stand
Sun Times ^ | 8/10/05 | ABDON PALLASCH

Posted on 08/11/2005 3:13:30 PM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection

What's wrong with citing rulings by judges in other countries, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer asked attendees at the American Bar Association Convention in Chicago on Tuesday.

Conservatives led by justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have criticized Breyer for backing up opinions with references to rulings from abroad, such as a 2002 Death Row case in which Breyer cited decisions by British and Canadian courts and the European Court of Human Rights.

The Supreme Court ". . . should not impose foreign moods, fads or fashions on Americans," Justice Thomas wrote in response.

But Breyer said Tuesday, "We're not bound by any foreign laws . . . but this is a world in which more and more countries have come to have democratic systems of government with documents like our constitution that protect things like free expression. And there are judges. They have a job that is somewhat similar to the jobs we have. Why not learn something if we can?"

"To tell you the truth, in some of these countries, they're just trying to create these independent judicial systems to protect human rights, contracts. If we cite them sometimes -- not as binding, I promise, not as binding --well, that gives them a little boost sometimes . . . It sort of gives them a leg up for the rule of law."

Breyer admits his and other justices' citing of non-U.S. cases "has hit a political nerve."

It came to a head in March when the court voted 5-4 to outlaw the execution of juveniles, citing, amid other evidence, the fact that other countries had outlawed it.

Breyer's comments came on the last day of the ABA's convention, attended by about 10,000 lawyers.

In defense of journalists

The ABA voted Tuesday to endorse a shield law that would prevent reporters such as the New York Times' Judith Miller from having to go to jail to protect confidential sources.

"Prior to requiring information from journalists, a party should demonstrate that the information sought is essential . . . that all reasonable alternative sources for the information have been exhausted, and that the need for the information clearly outweighs the public interest in protecting the free flow of information," the resolution says.

The vote clears the ABA to lobby congressmen to approve bills pending in both houses of Congress that mirror shield laws already on the books in 49 states.

"We're not asking for anything more from the federal government than exists in the states," Temple University Law Proffessor JoAnne A. Epps told ABA delegates.

"Journalists are caught in the unenviable position of not knowing whether a promise to a source is something they can adhere to" because they don't know whether their notes could be requested by a state court or a federal court, Epps said.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: globalism; influence; internationallaw; news; scotus; stephenbreyer

1 posted on 08/11/2005 3:13:31 PM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
...attended by about 10,000 lawyers.

...wishing I could round them all up and ship them to North Korea.

I was gonna say "target rich environment" but I won't...or did I?

2 posted on 08/11/2005 3:17:02 PM PDT by lormand (George W. Bush is saving your ass, whether you like it or not.)
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To: lormand

It'd be a good start. But, alas, I'd settle for just shipping Breyer over to North Korea.


3 posted on 08/11/2005 3:18:47 PM PDT by riri
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

"We're not bound by any foreign laws . . . "

We are when the SCOTUS bases it's decisions on those foreign laws. Screw this mentality. Stop the liberal idiocy..get Roberts confirmed as a first step!


4 posted on 08/11/2005 3:18:50 PM PDT by GLH3IL (What's good for America is bad for liberals.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"European Court of Human Rights"

My family escaped Europe to get away from Czech "human rights. This is Horse-Hockey
5 posted on 08/11/2005 3:20:13 PM PDT by sierrahome (Life is tough enough without being stupid.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
What's wrong with citing rulings by judges in other countries, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer asked attendees at the American Bar Association Convention in Chicago on Tuesday

They are not made under the auspices of the U.S. Constitution. It's a simple as that.

6 posted on 08/11/2005 3:21:36 PM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"What's wrong with citing rulings by judges in other countries, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer asked attendees at the American Bar Association Convention in Chicago on Tuesday."

If he don't know, then he has no business being on the court.
7 posted on 08/11/2005 3:22:06 PM PDT by Shawndell Green (Mecca delenda est!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

"To tell you the truth, in some of these countries, they're just trying to create these independent judicial systems to protect human rights, contracts. If we cite them sometimes -- not as binding, I promise, not as binding --well, that gives them a little boost sometimes . . . It sort of gives them a leg up for the rule of law."



Un.
Believable.


8 posted on 08/11/2005 3:23:34 PM PDT by SE Mom (God Bless those who serve)
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To: lormand

I'm sure Breyer will not be citing foreign laws when they do not support his position.


9 posted on 08/11/2005 3:27:40 PM PDT by Loyal Buckeye
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"To tell you the truth, in some of these countries, they're just trying to create these independent judicial systems to protect human rights, contracts. If we cite them sometimes -- not as binding, I promise, not as binding --well, that gives them a little boost sometimes . . . It sort of gives them a leg up for the rule of law."

Yeah, like Great Britain and Canada. Those backwater nations, just barely out of the third world, really need our help as they struggle to build an independent judiciary. What a lame justification for an even lamer policy.

10 posted on 08/11/2005 3:29:41 PM PDT by Politicalities (http://www.politicalities.com)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
"Why not learn something if we can"

He's right. We can learn from Europe. The Brits have started deporting radical Islamists.

11 posted on 08/11/2005 3:32:11 PM PDT by FatherofFive (Choose life!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

    MORON

12 posted on 08/11/2005 3:41:36 PM PDT by Libertarian444
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The writer of this story is the same "Legal Affairs Reporter" who wrote the Sun-Times piece that I attacked in my latest post. See "New ABA President Exposed."

He missed the story in that other piece. He misses it again, here. He may have the title for "Legal Affairs," but he surely doesn't understand his field. Two major stories are handed to him, IF he did his homework. He didn't. He missed it.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column: "Another Open Letter to Hillary"

13 posted on 08/11/2005 3:43:49 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Will President Bush's SECOND appointment obey the Constitution? I give 95-5 odds on yes.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The ABA voted Tuesday to endorse a shield law that would prevent reporters such as the New York Times' Judith Miller from having to go to jail to protect confidential sources.

Why should a "journalist" get such protections, but private citizens have it withheld? That's just one of the hugh problems I have with McCain/Feingold! GRRRR!!!

Mark

14 posted on 08/11/2005 3:43:51 PM PDT by MarkL (It was a shocking cock-up. The mice were furious!)
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To: Shawndell Green
"What's wrong with citing rulings by judges in other countries, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer asked attendees at the American Bar Association Convention in Chicago on Tuesday."

If he don't know, then he has no business being on the court.

Exactly! And maybe he just has WAY too much spare time on his hands, so he feels that he can use that time reviewing the legal rulings by judges in other countries, rather than bothering to actually read the text in the Consitution of the United States. It's become painfully aware that at least 4 of the SCOTUS Justices have little or no familiarity with the actualy TEXT of the document, rathter than "the spirit" of the Constitution!

Mark

15 posted on 08/11/2005 3:46:44 PM PDT by MarkL (It was a shocking cock-up. The mice were furious!)
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To: Loyal Buckeye
I'm sure Breyer will not be citing foreign laws when they do not support his position.

That's something I've wondered for quite a while... Why doesn't he bring up the rulings by Irish judges when discussing why the US should strike down Roe v Wade... Oh, that's right! He doesn't present those rulings because they contridict his "feelings."

Mark

16 posted on 08/11/2005 3:48:08 PM PDT by MarkL (It was a shocking cock-up. The mice were furious!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
What's wrong with citing rulings by judges in other countries, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer asked attendees at the American Bar Association Convention in Chicago on Tuesday.

Congress should impeach him so that he can go back to making ice cream.


17 posted on 08/11/2005 4:18:15 PM PDT by Maceman (Pro Se Defendant from Hell)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Judge Breyer,

You are supposed to take each issue and compare or check it with the USA Constitution, and let the Constitution say "Yea or Nay"! Foreign laws has no relevance in our laws! Period!

Do you recall your oath?

18 posted on 08/11/2005 4:23:32 PM PDT by Sen Jack S. Fogbound
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To: MarkL
If he doesn't want to create a decision using his own mind and our laws then I think he needs to get a job on the ICC Court. I we simply have no law to address an issue then that issue is a matter for congress to decide since it is supposed to be a reflection of the people in this country.

He is also suggesting here that the constitution is a living document to such an extent that outside influences can be acceptable. If that is the case, then the outside influences can shape the courts and in the future perhaps the courts can help shape outside influences. Giving the courts some element of an executive roll.
19 posted on 08/11/2005 4:35:13 PM PDT by SQUID
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

WHO administered the Oath of Office to Breyer? And has he been administered a mental exam to discover if he is sane
or cognizant enough to understand the comon meaning of the terms (language and intent) of that oath. And WHY has he not been Impeached? es verdad he was ominated by Clinton and everyone knows it all depends on the meaning of the "is"
now-In short we are no longer a nation of laws applied equally to all as Constitutional Republic but we have evolved like liberals form apes and on to amoebas and have
arrived at the oligarchy of depsots Jefferson warned of.


20 posted on 08/11/2005 4:44:06 PM PDT by StonyBurk
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
What's wrong with citing rulings by judges in other countries, ...

I see no more harm in this than citing Cher or Madonna.

21 posted on 08/11/2005 7:12:15 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government.)
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To: GLH3IL

Our laws are base upon a US constitution. Your job is to adhere to the constitution...how did this idiot ever get on the bench?


22 posted on 08/11/2005 7:25:22 PM PDT by nyconse
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