Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Should the Supreme Court cite decisions of foreign courts?

I enjoyed this story on NPR this morning:

http://www.npr.org/rundowns/segment.php?wfId=3351007 (This is an audio link--transcripts cost money.)

Of most interest was the fact that Rep. Feeney has proposed (maybe only suggested) a law that would make the citation of foreign cases grounds for impeachment. It is not teh case that he thinks that it is wrong for the courts to know about and reflect on foreign judgments; it's just that he would prefer that they not invoke foreign judgments to justify things like gay marriage. Which is another way of saying that he's game for anything that will give Congress more oversight over activist judges. It makes a certain sense, since it seems likely that European courts are going to experiment with interpretations of law that implement progressive social changes, of the kind that bother Rep. Feeney, well before our courts do. Nonetheless, Feeney's real beef is with judges who are willing to interpret the Constitution in a way that he doesn't like, not with what is otherwise really just an exercise in scholarship.


Blogger Tom said...

The great thing is, Feeney has a JD (1983 Pitt, www.house.gov/feeney) so he presumably knows better.

July 16, 2004 at 10:58 AM  

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