Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Good Criticism of Roper

Came accross a blog called New Sisyphus that has a very excellent criticism of the Roper v. Simmons Supreme Court decision that banned the execution of juveniles.

The best meat of this article is the following:

"Basically, what Scalia is saying is that if liberal jurists want to argue that U.S. law needs to be changed because it is out of step with the rest of the Western world’s law, we cannot stop with only those laws that liberals want changed.

What makes this argument so powerful is that there are a number of rules of law in U.S. jurisprudence that are unique in the Western world, and a number of those are much beloved by liberals. For example, the Exclusionary Rule (which excludes evidence acquired by the authorities should any part of the process or search later be found to be illegal) has been rejected soundly by both the U.K. and Canada. Our laws regarding the strict separation of church and state do not find favor overseas. And we are one of the only six countries of the world that allows abortion to the point of viability.

As Scalia explains:

The Court should either profess its willingness to reconsider all these matters in light of the views of foreigners, or else it should cease putting forth foreigners’ views as part of the reasoned basis of its decisions. To invoke alien law when it agrees with one’s own thinking, and ignore it otherwise, is not reasoned decision making, but sophistry."

Now, I am against the execution of those under the age of 18, but I do not think the decision to ban this practice should have been decided by the Supreme Court. I am not going to support a court decision where I like the result but dislike the support for that result.

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