Friday, April 11, 2008

We Don't Get No Respect

Especially after Medellin v. Texas, the left insists America's approach to law under George W. Bush "erode[s] our standing in the world." True or false?

United States: Justice Kennedy's opinion for the Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) (Slip op. at 21, 24):
[A]t least from the time of the Court's decision in Trop, the Court has referred to the laws of other countries and to international authorities as instructive for its interpretation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishments." 356 U. S., at 102-103 (plurality opinion) ("The civilized nations of the world are in virtual unanimity that statelessness is not to be imposed as punishment for crime"). . . It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty, resting in large part on the understanding that the instability and emotional imbalance of young people may often be a factor in the crime. . . The opinion of the world community, while not controlling our outcome, does provide respected and significant confirmation for our own conclusions.
Canada: Barbara Kulaszka, counsel for Marc Lemire, questioning Canadian Human Rights Commission investigator Dean Steacy in a Warman v. Lemire, Tribunal No. T1073/5405, hearing (page 42-43):
MS KULASZKA: Mr. Steacy, you were talking before about context and how important it is when you do your investigation. What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate one of these complaints?

MR. STEACY: Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value.

MS KULASZKA: Okay. That was a clear answer.

MR. STEACY: It's not my job to give value to an American concept.

[NOfP Note: The Lemire case ultimately was dismissed, with the Commission ordered to pay Mr. Lemire's costs.]
  1. Which nation is the more unilateralist?

  2. Isn't Canada correct? Not so much about human rights but about foreign law?

(via The Volokh Conspiracy, Instapundit)

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