Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Stevens Speaks on the Role of Int'l Law

A couple of articles this week discussed Justice J.P. Stevens' recent speech to the 7th Circuit Bar Association and Judicial Conference of the 7th Circuit.

In that speech Stevens noted that the Supreme Court considering the views of international courts is a responsible practice.

Here is the article from FindLaw.
Here is the article from The Indianapolis Star.

The FindLaw article specifically notes Justice Scalia's recent speeches opposing the influence of international law on American part stemming from this quote from Justice Kennedy's opinion in Roper v. Simmons: "The United States now stands alone in a world that has turned its face against the juvenile death penalty." That quote in large part sparked the dissents of Scalia, Rehnquist, and Thomas - in the case which eliminated capital punishment for minors. Stevens seems to make a fair point - one that is ignored by Scalia in his 'outrage' over the influence of international law:
There is a vast difference between U.S. justices considering meaningful views of scholars and judges before reaching a conclusion and allowing international opinion to control the interpretation of U.S. laws, Stevens said ..."We should not be impeached for the former," he said. "And we are not guilty of the latter."

For more on the Supreme Court's take on international law, please see my October 28, 2004 post entitled: O'Connor extols role of international law.

(Credit to ACSBlog for coverage of Stevens speech.)

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