Scalia Tells Congress to Mind Its Own Business Regarding Citation of Foreign Law

by Chris Borgen

Justice Scalia, in a bit of full contact constitutionalism, has reminded Congress about the separation of powers when it comes to the judicial citation of foreign law. According to the Washington Post:

Justice Antonin Scalia rebuked fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill yesterday, saying they have gone too far in trying to prevent the Supreme Court from using foreign law in its constitutional rulings.

Scalia dissented vigorously from the court’s recent decisions that invoked foreign law to help strike down the death penalty for juveniles and laws against consensual homosexual conduct. In Congress, conservative Republicans responded angrily to the rulings and introduced bills that would either condemn or ban the court’s use of foreign legal authorities.

But in his speech to a National Italian American Foundation luncheon attended by several House members, Scalia said, in effect, that he does not need any help.

“It’s none of your business,” he said, referring to Congress. “No one is more opposed to the use of foreign law than I am, but I’m darned if I think it’s up to Congress to direct the court how to make its decisions.”

The proposed legislation “is like telling us not to use certain principles of logic,” he said, adding: “Let us make our mistakes just as we let you make yours.”

See the rest of the Post article here.

http://opiniojuris.org/2006/05/19/scalia-tells-congress-to-mind-its-own-business-regarding-citation-of-foreign-law/

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