- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 30, 2003

Bypass Constitution?

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor predicts that the U.S. Supreme Court will increasingly base its decisions on international law rather than the U.S. Constitution, according to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

By doing so, the court will make a good impression among people from other countries, she said.


“The impressions we create in this world are important and they can leave their mark,” Justice O’Connor said.

On the whole, the U.S. judicial system leaves a favorable impression around the world, she said “but when it comes to the impression created by the treatment of foreign and international law and the United States court, the jury is still out.”

The 73-year-old justice made her remarks at a dinner in Atlanta sponsored by the Southern Center for International Studies.

The first cited case was decided in 2002 when the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to execute the mentally retarded, she said. In arriving at that decision, Justice O’Connor said, the high court noted that the world community overwhelmingly disapproved of the practice.

Also influential was a court brief filed by American diplomats who discussed the difficulties confronted in their foreign missions due to U.S. death-penalty practices, she said.

The second ruling cited by Justice O’Connor was the striking down of the Texas antisodomy law, relying partly on a series of decisions by European courts on the same issue.

“I suspect,” Justice O’Connor said, “that over time we will rely increasingly — or take notice, at least — increasingly on international and foreign courts in examining domestic issues.”

Miller to back Bush

Sen. Zell Miller, the conservative Georgia Democrat who often bucks his party leadership, said he is going to buck it on a big vote next year by supporting President Bush for re-election.

Mr. Miller told The Washington Times in an interview this week he cannot support any of the nine Democrats currently running for president.

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