Skip to comments.Supreme Court - APGinsburg: Int'l Law Shaped Court Rulings
Posted on 08/06/2003 2:16:09 AM PDT by bart99
Supreme Court - APGinsburg: Int'l Law Shaped Court Rulings Sat Aug 2, 9:48 PM ET
By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court is looking beyond America's borders for guidance in handling cases on issues like the death penalty and gay rights, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (news - web sites) said Saturday.
The justices referred to the findings of foreign courts this summer in their own ruling that states may not punish gay couples for having sex.
And in 2002, the court said that executing mentally retarded people is unconstitutionally cruel. That ruling noted that the practice was opposed internationally.
"Our island or lone ranger mentality is beginning to change," Ginsburg said during a speech to the American Constitution Society, a liberal lawyers group holding its first convention.
Justices "are becoming more open to comparative and international law perspectives," said Ginsburg, who has supported a more global view of judicial decision making.
Ginsburg cited an international treaty in her vote in June to uphold the use of race in college admissions.
The shift has angered some conservatives. Justice Antonin Scalia (news - web sites), in the gay sex case, wrote with two colleagues that the court should not "impose foreign moods, fads, or fashions on Americans."
David Rivkin Jr., a conservative Washington attorney, said foreign trends can be helpful to legislators in setting policy, but not to judges in interpreting the U.S. Constitution.
Last month, Ginsburg and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor (news - web sites) and Stephen Breyer (news - web sites) discussed the death penalty and terrorism with French President Jacques Chirac during a European tour. France outlawed the death penalty in 1981. Ginsburg was one of five justices who attended a conference on the European constitution.
Ginsburg said Saturday that the Internet is making decisions of courts in other countries more readily available in America, and they should not be ignored.
"While you are the American Constitution Society, your perspective on constitutional law should encompass the world," she told the group of judges, lawyers and students. "We are the losers if we do not both share our experiences with and learn from others."
I cannot believe the SCOTUS is applying treaties with other countries - not just the US Constituation - and that their "perspective on constitutional law should encompass the world"!
I wonder if she and Sandra took into account the laws in third world countries, Africa, Russia, China, etc in formulating their latest opinions - or just have "learned from others"of thier choosing.
Youths oppress my people,
women rule over them.
O my people, your guides lead you astray;
they turn you from the path. Isaiah 3:12
International Criminal Court
International Commission of Jurists
International Chamber of Commerce which has an International Court of Arbitration
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (initiatives can be LAWS)- heard of Agenda21?
International World Customs (w/their own tribunal)
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
The US is a member of all of them and more. And we get many of our laws and programs from them.
And one funny thing - the U.S. was the country behind enforcing a new global law that requires all seafarer workers to carry a biometric identity card - holds their digital picture and fingerprint.
But you make a good point. If only 2 out of the 60 commissioners of the Int'l Commission of Jurists are from the U.S., then where are the other 58 from? Here's the composition of the ICJ:
The International Court of Justice
Shi Jiuyong (China)
Raymond Ranjeva (Madagascar)
Gilbert Guillaume (France)
Abdul G. Koroma (Sierra Leone)
Vladlen S. Vereshchetin (Russian Federation)
Rosalyn Higgins (United Kingdom)
Gonzalo Parra-Aranguren (Venezuela)
Pieter H. Kooijmans (Netherlands)
Francisco Rezek (Brazil)
Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan)
Thomas Buergenthal (United States of America)
Nabil Elaraby (Egypt)
Hisashi Owada (Japan)
Bruno Simma (Germany)
Peter Tomka (Slovakia)
Mr. Philippe Couvreur (Belgium)
For crying out loud, the President is from China! A jury of your peers?!!!?
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