Alito's Disturbing Response to Questions About Foreign Law
"I don't think it's appropriate or useful to look to foreign law in interpreting the provisions of our Constitution," Judge Alito said in response to questions from Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, in the third day of the judge's confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"I think the Framers would be stunned by the idea that the Bill of Rights is to be interpreted by taking a poll of the countries of the world," Judge Alito said. "The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to give Americans rights that were recognized practically nowhere else in the world at the time. The Framers did not want Americans to have the rights of people in France or the rights of people in Russia or any of the other countries on the continent of Europe at the time; they wanted them to have the rights of Americans."
No member of the Supreme Court believes that foreign law carries the force of precedent or deserves controlling weight when interpreting the Constitution. No member of the Court bases an understanding of the Bill of Rights on a âpoll.â These are the impressions that extremists on the right falsely convey, and it is disturbing that Judge Alito did not disavow these fundamental misunderstandings.
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