April 14, 2009

Jurisprudence sans frontieres: Foreign Authority in the US Supreme Court

Filed under: 1 — ruleswatch @ 8:49 pm

Ongoing American ideological bun fighting  over whether the US Supreme Court should cite to foreign authorities in working out its own judgements has spilled into the pages of the New York Times. Sunday’s edition quotes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (a proponent of using outside authority) as saying, “The Canadian Supreme Court, she said, is ‘probably cited more widely abroad than the U.S. Supreme Court.’ ”  

Lest anyone’s head were to swell too quickly, the judge made sure that the implication was clear: 

There is one reason for that,” she said: “You will not be listened to if you don’t listen to others.”

At the same time, another great American thinker, CNN’s Lou Dobbs, is outraged by the very idea that US jurisprudes would even think about looking elsewhere for test-driven ideas.  

Ginsburg must be wrong.


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