Supreme Court should not rely on foreign law, Gonzales says

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that the use of foreign law in US Supreme Court opinions is "anti-democratic" and "unworkable." In a speech [text] given at George Mason University Law School, Gonzales argued that "Foreign judges and legislators are not accountable to the American people. If our courts rely on a foreign judge's opinion or a foreign legislature's enactment, then that foreign judge or legislature binds us on key constitutional issues." Gonzales acknowledged that as a "practical matter" it "may be impossible for even the most conscientious judge to avoid being arbitrarily selective in the use of foreign law." Earlier this year, in reaching its 5-4 decision to outlaw the death penalty for juvenile killers in Roper v. Simmons [opinion text; JURIST report], the Supreme Court cited foreign sentiment against capital punishment for juveniles. AP has more.

Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase...

ALSO ON JURIST

 Op-ed: Joining the World Against Juvenile Executions

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.