Foreign Laws

This was the second half of my last post. However, I think it stands on its own better than as a part of that one, so here it is again:

The idea of using foreign laws to influence American court decisions has always been repulsive to me. Foreign laws are made by foreign leaders using foreign methods to meet foreign needs. While there are certainly elements common to all humanity, there are also regional variations based on geography, culture, and other factors that cannot allow a cookie-cutter mentality toward shaping laws. This applies within the 50 United States. What works in Maine might not necessarily work in Arizona. It applies even more so from one country to another. Foreign laws are also made by foreign legislatures whose methods might be illegal in the U.S. We are bound by our constitution, not foreign constitutions.

Foreign law might work for foreign countries, but it often goes against our laws, our traditions, our culture, our Constitution, and our liberty. If people want to adopt an idea from another country, let them put it before the Congress, or the state legislatures. Let our legislators study them, debate them, and modify them as necessary to meet our needs. Using foreign ideas to influence American court decisions thus bypassing the people’s elected representatives is a subversion of the sovereignty of the people and is (in my mind) close to treason.

Besides, it just doesn’t fit. The culture, economies, people, traditions, and constitutions of other countries are sufficiently different from ours to render them functionally incompatible. Trying to use foreign law to render court decisions in the U.S. is like trying to play Monopoly using the rules from Risk.

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