Justice Ruth Bader Ginsbutg confirmed the recently noted tendency of the Supreme Court to look abroad for precedent and emerging global consensus in deciding US cases, in a speech to the American Constitution Society, a liberal lawyers group holding its first convention.
Issues Ginsburg mentioned in her speech include the Death Penalty, the Texas sodomy case, and the 2002 decision that said that executing mentally retarded people is unconstitutionally cruel. In addition, Ginsburg cited an international treaty in her vote in June to uphold the use of race in college admissions.
Justices “are becoming more open to comparative and international law perspectives,” said Ginsburg, who has supported a more global view of judicial decision making. Ginsburg also said Saturday that the Internet is making decisions of courts in other countries more readily available in America, and they should not be ignored.
This is in noted contrast to her colleague Antonin Scalia, who, as noted here, has written that ”the court’s discussion of these foreign views … is meaningless dicta. Dangerous dicta, however, since this court should not impose foreign moods, fads, or fashions on Americans.”