A thoughtful compilation and analysis of some important, but underreported and under-researched news stories, with particular focus on keeping the People informed about all Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.
-----The 'Civil Flag' -- Forgotten Flag, or Flag of Fraud and Fiction?
-----Status of the 'Fair Tax Act of 2005' (H.R. 25; S 25)
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Friday, January 14, 2005
US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Approves Use of Foreign Precedents in Court Decisions Story dated 14 January 2005
"Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer jousting at the American University law school late Thursday afternoon over whether American jurists should look to foreign legal precedents when making their decisions." That this has to be debated at all is somewhat disturbing to me. Justices of the Supreme Court take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of these United States of America. Our Constitution is the end legal authority of our laws -- no law can go against it -- in theory (although in practice, I think courts need to be more discriminating when looking at what laws get passed). The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of Constitutionality -- meaning that they do not follow precedents of lower state courts. They either set precedents, or affirm them. This is why it is dangerous for the court to start looking at foreign opinions when interpreting our Constitution. According to this story, "Breyer, Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice John Paul Stevens have buttressed their decisions in death penalty and gay rights cases with citations of what foreign, especially European, judges have ruled in similar cases," but "Breyer minimized the importance of his use of foreign precedents. He said he looked at foreign law simply to learn how judges overseas approach problems comparable to what he must face, a process he called "opening your eyes to things that are going on elsewhere."" Forgive my presumption, but it is highly inappropriate to interpret the United States Constitution with input from foreign countries. Courts in other countries are influenced by other cultures and traditions. How can anyone really think that it is okay to interpret our Constitution with precedents arising from other cultures? More and more Americans, it seems, are beginning to think that the court doesn't work for them anymore. Justice Breyer and his ilk prove these people right. I am just glad Justice Scalia is there to point out what Breyer is doing. _____________________________________________
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