Constitutional Kabuki: Fidelity and Opportunism in the Foreign Law Debate
7 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2010
Date Written: March 9, 2010
This essay, part of a symposium on the use of foreign cases in domestic adjudication, explores the reasons the Supreme Court’s occasional citation of foreign cases has spawned vociferous opposition from some judges, politicians, and commentators. The essay offers a brief taxonomy of the jurisprudential criticisms lodged against the practice, observes that they have been deployed selectively, and concludes that the opportunistic use of these criticisms may demonstrate that they are often deployed as stand-ins for a different and more political concern - namely, how the United States should respond to a new global culture that deems national law subordinate to universal human rights norms.
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