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GINSBURG FAVORS INTERNATIONAL LAWS FOR U.S.
PART 2 of 2

 

 

 

By Jon Christian Ryter

April 19, 2006

NewsWithViews.com

Seventh US Circuit Court Chief Judge Richard A. Posner—one of the most brilliant, and outspoken, conservative judges on the federal bench—has made it clear in his writings that the opinions of foreign judges are not authoritative and have no place in American jurisprudence. They set no binding precedent that obligates a US judge to use their arguments in shaping their decision. Posner admitted, however, that the thinking behind the legal opinions of foreign judges may offer a storehouse of knowledge could be relevant in the decision process of the judiciary. But the view of the Chief Judge is that "...[t]o cite foreign law as authority is to flirt with the discredited idea of a universal natural law, or to suppose fantastically that the world's judges constitute a single, elite community of wisdom and conscience."

It is likewise the view of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia that the high court has no authority to consider foreign law as a "guide" in rendering decisions in cases which do not deal with international issues or with international litigants. Ginsburg, of course, disagrees. "Judges in the United States," Ginsburg noted in her address to the Constitutional Court of South Africa, "are free to consult all manner of commentary—restatements, treaties, what law professors or even law students write copiously in law reviews. For example, if we can count those writings, why not the analysis of a question similar to the one we confront contained 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 notion that it is improper to look beyond the borders of the United States in grappling with hard questions...is in line with the view of the US Constitution as a document essentially frozen in time as of the date of its ratification."

Ginsburg noted that's the reason that the Supreme Court is now casting comparative sideglances at the opinions of humankind. When the court was weighing Roper v Simmons in March, 2005, it looked at the propriety and utility of the whole spectrum of international law to gain a fresh assessment of the evolving standards of decency.

Roper v Simmons was heard on Oct. 13, 2004. In a 5-to-4, Mar. 1, 2005 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 8th and 14th Amendments forbid the execution of offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed. That's not true. The courts of Europe determined that society can't execute offenders under the age of 18. The 8th Amendment merely says the courts can't impose cruel or unusual punishment. The 14th Amendment applies the restrictions of the Bill of Rights to the States when, originally, they applied only to the federal government. While anti-death penalty advocates believe the death sentence is a cruel punishment because it takes the life of those it is imposed upon. However, the principle of an eye-for-an-eye is Biblical, and death is the only sentence that should be imposed upon those who, with malice, take the life of another.

Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in Roper v Simmons. In writing the opinion, Kennedy noted that "...the opinion of the world community provides respected and significant confirmation of our own conclusions. It does not lessen our fidelity to the Constitution." Although Kennedy sits on a bench where everything he says—if he's part of the majority—is right (since he is writing law when he speaks), in this case he was wrong. Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens wrote the majority opinion in Roper. In Roper, Kennedy—who actually wrote the opinion—stated that the view of the world community provides "...respected and significant confirmation of our own conclusions. Kennedy said "The overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty...does not lessen our fidelity to the Constitution...[or recognize] the express affirmation of certain fundamental rights by other nations and peoples." In Roper, the high court accepted amicus briefs from former President Jimmy Carter, who urged the high court to "...consider the opinion of the international community, which has rejected the death penalty for child offenders worldwide." In addition, amicus briefs were filed by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and South Africa's former president, Willem de Klerk. Ginsburg, like her liberal peers on the high court, believe the Supreme Court will accept the opinions of humankind as a matter of comity because as the world gets smaller and our enemies closer, she is convinced that all nations will be forced to trust all other nations—and cooperate with them to make all nations safe by the same accord.

That accord is not being written by a judicial consensus based on the rule of law in the United States, but by the utopian rules of quixotic men whose views were shaped and supported by the chimeric foundations of wealthy industrialists and bankers who have been carefully tailoring world government—to be controlled by them—one layer at a time, since 1905. One of the tasks of the global nation builders has been to structure the plenary rules by which all men in all nations shall accord themselves or be judged by the International Court of Justice—the World Court—in the Hague. At the heart of the effort to create uniform laws throughout the world is an organization called the International Law Institute [ILI], created in 1955 at the Georgetown University Law Center. A sister center, the Insitut Auslandisches und Internationales Wirtschaftscrecht was founded in Frankfurt, Germany at the Johannes Goethe University. The purpose of the Institute was to create a uniform legal system between Europe and America in order to facilitate transnational business and trade and to create a single global economic community out of the world. Stemming from the ILI is the International Judicial Academy whose job it would be to train judges to use domesticated international law in formulating their judicial decisions.

The ILI's first Director, Professor Heinrich Kronstein, fled Germany in the 1930s when Hitler assumed power. In the 1970s, Professor Don Wallace, Jr., a Georgetown law professor assumed the reins of the ILI, expanding its focus to include professional training in the legal, economic and financial problems of developing countries. In the 1990s, the role of the Institute were expanded again to include the problems facing the new nations that were part of the Soviet Union as they transitioned from socialism to free market economies, and from totalitarianism to the rule of law. While the ILI is headquartered in Washington, DC, there are regional centers in Kampala, Uganda; Abuja, Nigeria; Cairo, Egypt; Santiago, Chile and Hong Kong, SAR. Within this decade, the ILI expects to have offices located in Moscow, Russia; Beijing, China; Pyongyang, North Korea; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Tehran, Iran.

The ILI now advises governments—including China—and multilateral NGOs on societal problems, the revision of regulations, legislation drafting, contract law and criminal law standardization, the standardization of banking regulations, and hundreds of other transnational projects that have gone literally unnoticed for a half century by the common, working class people of the world whose governments were working behind their backs to dissolve sovereignty and create a stateless community of nations governed by the UN not in New York, but at the Hague.

At the heart of the ILI are training programs and seminars for participants from the public and private sectors. The topics range from international business, investment, governance and law. The ILI's mission is to raise the levels of professional competence and capacity in every nation and, by creating uniform standards of law, establishing a level playing field in the international arena. Centermost is the training of judges, lawyers, government officials, bankers, industrialists, business managers and other interested parties that, in the fast-moving global economy of the 21st century, those who are going to succeed—nations, corporations or individuals—must grasp the changing patterns of international commerce, banking, communications, and all facets of governance, adapt and master the skills needed to thrive in the global economy.

To begin preparing the world for the global community, the Inter-American Development Bank [IDB] (which is owned by 47-UN member nations) and the Washington College of Law hosted its first seminar on incorporating international law into domestic courts from Nov. 10-14, 1997. The seminar was attended by 45 judges, prosecutors and public defenders from 18 different Latin American countries. The aim of the project was to familiarize the attendees with the precepts of international law and inter-American human rights. The primary training goals of the IDB/WCL is judicial reform.

While the judicial courses are designed for judges at every judicial level, the project planners specifically target federal judges at the appellate level for several reasons. They affect judicial "policy" and the nature of law on a daily basis. Their decisions influence the rulings of judges at all lower levels. At that time—in 1997, a decision was made not to target Supreme Court justices since the high courts generally hear only a small number of cases per year. That philosophy has now changed, and beginning in 1999, all of the US Supreme Court Justices except Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas attended at least one seminar on incorporating international law into domestic courts.

The project planners of Utopia initially targeted judges at the appellate level believing they have the strongest influence over the lower courts, and in the belief that the justices in the nation's highest court would be immune from tampering. However, in 2004 the US Supreme Court delivered decisions in four cases dealing with International law: Republic of Austria v Altmann; Rumsfeld v Padilla; Rasul v Bush; Hamdi v Rumsfeld; and Sosa v Alverez-Machain. The issues of international law that were specifically examined in those cases were: [1] the reach of the Alien Tort Claims Act, [2] the retroactively of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, [3] the jurisdiction of US courts in the detention of foreign nationals, and [4] the rights of detainees to challenge their classification as enemy combatants. As the Rehnquist Court was obligated to deal with these international issues, some members of the high court began grappling with an even larger issue—at what point, and to what extent, should international law influence domestic law. That is the same issue being debated at the ILI. The answer—from the liberal perspective—is that, international law should affect every court, at every level, as quickly as possible.

That's why, in 2005, the International Judiciary Academy of Washington, DC, began holding educational seminars and lectures for 20 State-level trial and appellate judges. Not only will lower courts begin to incorporate international legal opinions in their decisions, the Utopians want to make sure there is an adequate pool of "qualified and approved" candidates for the federal bench—particularly, nominees for the appellate level courts.

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Like the institutionalized deadwood that occupies the seats of both Houses of Congress because they've been in Washington, DC too long, federal judges are theoretically institutionalized from the moment they are confirmed to the bench because they have been given a lifetime berth and are answerable to no one. We can remove any politician—even the most powerful—in the voting booth, but we can't vote federal judges off the bench. However, we can impeach them. It's time to sent a message to the federal court system. Boot Ruth. For part 1 click below.

Click here for part -----> 1

© 2006 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights Reserved

[Read Jon Ryter's book "Whatever Happened to America?"]

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Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.

Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website.

E-Mail: BAFFauthor@aol.com


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Not only will lower courts begin to incorporate international legal opinions in their decisions, the Utopians want to make sure there is an adequate pool of "qualified and approved" candidates for the federal bench— particularly, nominees for the appellate level courts.