Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito and international law

When Chief Justice Roberts was in confirmation hearings he unequivocally stated that he believed that the use of foreign court precedent and international law generally, was inappropriate in interpreting the US law. Supporters of this position are likely to find comfort in the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court.

While its not the most scientific of searches, a search of Judge Alito's opinion (over the past 15 years) indicate that he has referred to "international law" in four cases, and "foreign law" in 0 cases. Further, the terms "international precedent" and "foreign precedent" are not present in any of his opinions.

The movement of using foreign precedent (as espoused by Breyer and O'Connor) in the US Supreme Court appears likely to be a short-lived phenomenon.

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