Judge O’Connor Romanticizes International Law Again

October 27, 2004

My good friend and confidante, EIB’s Legal Advisor, and WABC radio star F. Lee Levin just sent me this AP story reporting that Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in a speech at Georgetown law school Wednesday, again extolled the virtues of international law.

According to the story:

O’Connor said the Supreme Court is increasingly taking cases that demand a better understanding of foreign legal systems. A recent example was last term’s terror cases involving the U.S. detention of foreign-born detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, she said.

“International law is no longer a specialty. …It is vital if judges are to faithfully discharge their duties,” O’Connor told attendees at a ceremony dedicating Georgetown’s new international law center.

While this isn’t as bad as the justice’s earlier statement that the Court should consider international law in its decisions, it is nonetheless a red flag. It reminds us, as we approach the elections of the judicial appointment issue. Among the thousands of reasons that President Bush must be re-elected is the composition of the court. John Kerry would appoint liberal judicial activists who would not only be more likely to consider foreign judicial rulings, but would also have much less reluctance to legislate from the bench in other areas. With the well-deserved intensity of the war issue, other important ones, such as judicial appointments sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve.