Scalia: Foreign Law Isn't Ours

Discussion in 'News Articles' started by chevydeerhunter, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. chevydeerhunter

    chevydeerhunter Well-Known

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    Feb 23, 2008
    San Antonio
    At Houston gala, he criticizes courts that cite countries' trends for rulings

    By MARY FLOOD
    Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle


    Nov. 17, 2008, 11:01PM

    Judges who use foreign laws to interpret the U.S. Constitution are rewriting it rather than respecting its founders, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a roomful of judges and top lawyers in Houston on Monday night.
    "I fear the courts' use of foreign law in interpreting the Constitution will continue at an accelerated pace," the 72-year-old conservative jurist said.
    Scalia spoke at a $150-a-head steak and potatoes dinner sponsored by the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association and held at the Hyatt Regency Houston downtown. Before talking for about 30 minutes, the jurist autographed copies of a book he co-authored.
    Scalia promised to be noncontroversial but frequently used the example of Lawrence v. Texas, a Houston case in which he disagreed with the majority that struck down Texas' anti-sodomy law. Scalia complained that foreign laws were cited in that case.
    Scalia was typically evangelical in his advocacy of "originalism," or strictly adhering to what the Constitutional authors meant more than 200 years ago. He criticized those who see the Constitution as an evolving or "living document" that adapts to the times.
    The 1986 Reagan appointee said he'll only become a believer in those who cite foreign law if they do it more universally, like in abortion cases where more countries prohibit it than don't. "The court has ignored foreign law in its abortion cases," he said.
    Scalia said the founders of this country did not want us to emulate Europe.
    He told the 50 tables of lawyers that when judges use foreign laws or even U.S. legislative history, they are straying from their true purpose. He said judges do it to expand their own power because they wrongly consider "the views of all segments of mankind" and to make it appear they have something to rely upon.
    Scalia said some leeway can be found even sticking only with the Constitutional text.
    "It doesn't mean you can't twist the Constitution," he said lightly. "You just do it the good old-fashioned way: You just lie about it."
    The self-proclaimed social conservative, known for both his combativeness and his humor, Scalia spoke in Houston in part to promote his book Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges. It's written with Bryan Garner, a Dallas-based legal writing author.
    The book's acknowledgments include a thanks to Houston-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Edith Jones, who introduced Scalia on Monday night.
    In response to a question from Jones, Scalia said he disagrees with his alma mater Harvard Law School's decision to copy Yale and scrap grades in favor of a pass/fail system. "I want to know who's best in the class. I don't want to know just who went to Yale," he said.
    In response to another question, the jurist said he thinks law schools have gotten away from teaching students to be lawyers, and some academics have even developed a contempt for the practice.
    He argued legal academics should spend more time with legal practitioners.
     


  2. djspump2003

    djspump2003 Active Member

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    Oct 19, 2008
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    Scalia is one of the wisest men I know of. Too bad there aren't 4 more of him up on the bench.

    He's right - too many brave men died to separate us from the ideals that stem from Europe. The liberals want a world-court, which would trump our Constitution anyway. Be very afraid of that day.
     
  3. sharky47

    sharky47 Active Member

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    May 4, 2008
    This is the same guy that in the Heller case said that "shall not be infringed" really means "rights can be attenuated".

    I trust that guy in the black muumuu about as far as I can throw him......
     
  4. djspump2003

    djspump2003 Active Member

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    His vote actually was one of the 5 instrumental in defining our individual right to keep and bear arms. We probably shouldn't forget that. One vote the other way and it would be that much easier for BHO to take them away.
     
  5. sharky47

    sharky47 Active Member

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    May 4, 2008
    That is what we have been told from by the NRA and other firearm compromise organizations.

    What Scalia did was set a precident that "shall not be infringed" does not mean that, but that a natural right of man to use whatever modern technology at his disposal to defend him and his own can be "attenuated" by people calling themselves government.

    We probably shouldn't forget that.......

    Let this be clear - this sort of thing is not a "victory" by any stretch of the imagination. I am not endorsing "BHO" in any way.
     
  6. djspump2003

    djspump2003 Active Member

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    My relative perspective is comparing Scalia with the likes of Ginsberg, Souter, Breyer, and Stevens.

    I'm not sure which firearm organizations you think don't compromise with the likes of the Brady's. The John Birch Society is the closest one I can come up with. I would be interested to learn of others that are prominent enough to attract political attention such as the NRA does.

    I didn't think you were endorsing BHO - if anyone on this site does, they should have their membership terminated.
     
  7. sharky47

    sharky47 Active Member

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    The thing to remember is that this is a zero-sum game that is being played with liberty here, you shouldn't rejoice when your human rights are damaged "less" by "red" team vs. "blue" team.

    Not trying to pick on you, rather to show people that free men have no friends in DC......not even in the form of Scalia.....
     
  8. djspump2003

    djspump2003 Active Member

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    We have been dealing with the "lesser of two evils" for a long time.

    When I had a complaint, my chief on the carrier used to tell me not to bring complaints or criticisms to him without a solution. When I would come up with a solution that he didn't disagree with, he would thank me for volunteering to fix a problem.

    Given the confines of the law that we live in, I am not sure what the solution to our problem is at present. There are plenty of palatable solutions that fall outside of those confines, but the consequences are pretty dire.
     
  9. sharky47

    sharky47 Active Member

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    The problem is that the solution is illegal in this police state.

    "Working within the system to further change" is a noble idea, but a system that seems to be hell-bent on reducing liberty is not going to provide the citizens the tools with which to reduce it's power.

    The guys in the free state project seem to be doing the best possible by both taking over the political side of things as well as ramping up non-violent non-compliance. Until more people wake up, grow a set of cajones, and tell the people calling themselves govenrment......"NO"......all the donations to the NRA will mean nothing.....
     

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