“Sounds like the Big cheese admires Weeramanty,” by Mark Safranski, tdaxp, 26 September 2005, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/09/23/use-of-force.html.
“Ginsburg discusses court integrity, Congress on campus visit,” by Meredith Grunke, Daily Nebraskan, 10 April 2006, http://www.dailynebraskan.com/media/storage/paper857/news/2006/04/10/News/Ginsburg.Discusses.Court.Integrity.Congress.On.Campus.Visit-1803033.shtml?norewrite200604101541&sourcedomain=www.dailynebraskan.com.
Note: My source for this post is the Daily Nebraskan, the occasionally incoherent student publication of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Most of their time, such as with their publication of my dialog with Dr. Frances Kaye over ROTC, they get things right. Occasionally they don’t. I am assuming that their reporting of a recent speech by a Supreme Court justice on our fair campus is accurate.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants to take over the world!
Ginsburg’s use of foreign laws in her decision has become unpopular. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has criticized the use of foreign laws, while the Washington Post criticized Ginsburg’s reasoning. Given the emphasis on American laws shown by her colleagues Justice Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice John Roberts, you would imagine Justice Ginsburg would give in and do her job. Nope.
This past Friday, Ginsburg came up with a new reason to use foreign laws in our Courts:
In both her talks, Ginsburg mentioned the Supreme Court’s reference to international law, the exercise of executive power in times of war and recent confirmations to the court.
The justice also fielded questions and spoke in her lecture about the court’s references to foreign law when making decisions – a practice she believes is widely misunderstood. Congress has been looking into measures to curb the court’s references to decisions made by foreign countries.
“If we aren’t willing to read and consider what our counterparts abroad are writing, … they will be discouraged from listening to us,” she said, pointing out that court decisions made in other countries are not binding to the U.S.
It appears that Ginsburg is saying that if the US Supreme Court does not use laws from other countries, those countries will not rely on the US Supreme Court.
This statement makes no interest if Justice Ginsburg is interested in interpretating the Law of the Land, or if her primary loyalties are to US Law and the US Constitution. However, it makes perfect sense if one sees her as part of an international league of justices primarily interested in see their words run the world.
In the words of Mark Safranski, these people
would like to establish as a legitimate authority is effectively a ” Transnational Progressive Ulema” where IL scholars and certain NGO and international bodies collectively float above nation-state sovereigns and hand down rulings much they way Ayatollah Sistani or Sunni scholars issue fatwas
This approach is undemocratic, because it removes the legislative (much less the diplomatic!) function from the Congress and gives it to the Courts. It’s non-modular, because it places its face in one, best, international solution whether than evolving local ones. It’s philosophy of experts-know-best has more in common with the theories of the French and the Soviets than with the experience of Americans.
I would stop here, except taking a shot at Ginsburg’s victimology is too easy:
“In some political circles, it is fashionable to criticize and even threaten, federal judges who decide cases without regard to what the `home crowd’ wants,” she said.