SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

CORNYN & THE CONSTITUTION. Texas Senator John Cornyn continues his admirable defense of the U.S. Constitution from those are seeking to outsource constitutional duties to international tribunals. At NRO yesterday, his short article "Domestic, Not Foreign," discusses the recent phenomenon of federal judges issuing constitutional rulings whose reasoning includes selective appeals supposed international sentiment or foreign court decisions supposedly displaying an "evolving standards of decency" or supposed ocietal consensus.

As Sen. Cornyn notes, he recently filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Medellin v. Dretke. Oral arguments were just made before the Supreme Court. I skimmed his brief over the other morning and appreciate the arguments he puts forth. A decision in the case isn't expected for some time.

The Senator has also introduced a Senate resolution concerning constitutional interpretation by the judiciary and the use of international law by the courts. I find the resolution--which essentially states that the federal courts should not look to foreign court decisions in interpreting the constitution unless those decisions somehow reflect upon the original understanding of the constitution's text--to be entirely defensible.

The resolution is not binding upon the judiciary--as each branch must interpret the constitution for itself. But if the judiciary can tell the political branches where they go wrong in expounding the constitution through musings in judicial opinions, then surely the political branches can return the favor.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

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