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Here is the prime paragraph in Justice Ginsburg’s defense of the use of foreign law in U.S. legal decisionmaking:

Judges in the United States, after all, are free to consult all manner of commentary — Restatements, Treatises, what law professors or even law students write copiously in law reviews, and, in the internet age, any number of legal blogs. If we can consult those sources, why not the analysis of a question similar to the one we confront contained, for example, in an opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the German Constitutional Court, or the European Court of Human Rights?

The answer, quite simply, is this: All of those Restatements, treatises, law review articles and so forth are discussing U.S. law, generated by U.S. Courts and legal thinkers. They are all firmly grounded in, and dependent upon, our quite unique legal culture and tradition. They are informed by the values and traditions of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and 230 years of history.

All of the other sources she notes have nothing at all to do with the U.S..

Why in the world would we want to give the Constitutional Court of South  Africa a say in what goes on in the U.S.? And remember, that is what she is proposing. She is, in  effect, suggesting that such court’s decisions be persuasive authority in the U.S.. With all the competing jurisdictions we have here – 300 million people, 50 different states, different Attornies General, hundreds of law schools and colleges, plus multiple other layers of government, we can’t find what we need?

And look at her examples. All liberal Western-European Social Democracies.

No, I think the good Justice just can’t find support for certain liberal ideas here at home, so she’s searching for it overseas.

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