Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Supremes. At it again.

Iowahawk has a great satire of the Supreme Court's recent ruling regarding the execution of minors that relied heavily on internatinal law.

WASHINGTON, DC - In a far-reaching decision that will likely create complicated consequences for the American livestock and wedding-planning industries, the Supreme Court this morning ruled 5-4 that all US marriage dowries "must include three non-diseased oxen."
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited "the weight of the expansive penumbra surrounding the historically emerging and prevailing opinions of tribal shamans from Lesotho to Myanamar" in issuing the historic ruling in American Cattleman Association vs. Modern Bride, Helverson, et al.

While I haven't read the decision, nor pondered the ramifications of executing minors, I cringe everytime international law is used extensively.

Powerline points to a relevant in the Washington Times:

It happens that only 15 years ago the Supreme Court found that the kind of statute in question was constitutional. But, rather than overturning that case, the court yesterday found that in the last 15 years a national consensus against such punishment had emerged. The majority based that conclusion on the fact that "18 states -- or 47 percent of states that permit capital punishment -- now have legislation prohibiting the execution of offenders under 18," and four of those states have adopted such legislation since the Supreme Court's ruling of 15 years ago.
As Justice Antonin Scalia fumed in his dissent: "Words have no meaning if the views of less than 50 percent of death penalty States can constitute a national consensus. Our previous cases have required overwhelming opposition to a challenged practice, generally over a long period of time." In this case, a majority of relevant states approve the practice.

All these rulings have gotten me in the mood to read Robert Bork's recently released book Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide View of Judges.

Fox News Reports that the book contains various examples of the growing influence of international law "including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's references to the 'useful decisions' by the Privy Council of Jamaica, the Supreme Court of India and the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe for a 1999 case involving allowable delays of executions."

Bork is certainly right in declaring that "international law becomes one more weapon in our domestic culture war.”


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