Goodlatte Reintroduces Legislation Saying that Judicial Decisions Shouldn’t be Based on Foreign Court Rulings

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Congressman Goodlatte reintroduced legislation which says that judicial decisions should not be based on any foreign laws, court decisions, or pronouncements of foreign governments.  Several western nations have begun to rely upon international conventions and U.N. treaties when interpreting their own constitutions.  Most of these materials are crafted by bureaucrats and non-governmental organizations with virtually no democratic input.

Congressman Goodlatte commented, “Recently there has been a deeply disturbing trend in American jurisprudence.  The Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, has begun to look abroad, to international law instead of our own Constitution as the basis for its decisions.  This is an affront to both our national sovereignty and the broader democratic underpinnings of our system of government.  The introduction of this legislation comes at a critical time, for when judges and justices begin to operate outside the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution, Congress must respond.”

For example, Justice Ginsburg told the New York City Bar Association in 2005, “I will take enlightenment wherever I can get it. I don’t want to stop at a national boundary” and Justice Stephen Breyer actually said in a decision that he found “useful” the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe – a country that is in ruins due to the brutal rule of the dictator Robert Mugabe.

Congressman Goodlatte continued, “The way to solve this dilemma is to return the focus of federal judges to their role as interpreters of the Constitution, not importers of foreign law.  The fundamental question is whether the Framers meant what they actually said in drafting our Constitution or whether a majority of unelected Justices can alter the original intent of the U.S. Constitution by relying on foreign laws, constitutions, cultures, fads, or social mores.”

The “Reaffirmation of American Independence Resolution” has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee on which Congressman Goodlatte serves as Vice Ranking Member.