Foreign law is fundamentally different from American law. Whereas our Constitution sets forth limited government powers and recognizes broad individual rights against government (such as freedom of religion and speech), European constitutions proclaim entitlements to government services such as education, health care, maternity leave, housing and environmental protection.
We certainly don’t want to import laws from foreign countries that recognize polygamy, arranged marriages between cousins, so-called honor killings of women who reject such arrangements, cutting off hands as punishment for theft, stoning women to death as punishment for adultery, and prohibiting the private ownership of guns.
Judge Robert Bork has explained that international law is really not law as Americans understand the term; it is just international politics. International law is not passed by any legislature, and is often written ex post facto and administered by foreign or UN bureaucrats pretending to be judges.
Unfortunately, some very prominent people have espoused the theory that we should bring international law into American law. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been making speeches advising lawyers that “your perspective on constitutional law should encompass the world.” Justice Anthony Kennedy invoked foreign “authorities” when he couldn’t find any language in the U.S. Constitution to justify overturning the Texas sodomy law. Kennedy emphasized the “values we share with a wider civilization.” In fact, most other countries do not share American values, and we certainly do not want to share theirs.
It’s long past time for us to rise up and put an end to this un-American nonsense. The Senate should require all judicial nominees to promise their adherence to the U.S. Constitution as written, and their rejection of the use of foreign or international law to interpret American law.