I’m staggered by the monumental, breathtaking stupidity of this:
Nativism in American politics has become so rampant that it is considered scandalous in Republican circles for a judge to acknowledge paying any attention to foreign courts and their legal rulings. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the few prominent jurists to speak out against this trend in recent years, gave an on-the-money speech last week pointing out the xenophobia on recent display in the confirmation hearings of Elena Kagan.
At one point, Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican of Iowa, noted with scorn that Harvard Law School, where Ms. Kagan had been dean, required first-year students to study international law. Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican of Oklahoma, asked why Ms. Kagan thought it was acceptable to use foreign law to interpret the Constitution, which she retorted was almost never the case. Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican of Arizona, summed it up: “I’m troubled by it,” not because foreign law would create a United States precedent, but “because it suggests that you could turn to foreign law to get good ideas.”
Yes Senator, you could turn to foreign law to get good ideas.
Let’s see, just off the top of my head — the Magna Carta, habeas corpus, the French Enlightenment, Monica Bellucci — these things all came from foreign places.
But it’s the aggressively dishonest and asinine nature of these comments, delivered from people who presumably have a brain and know better, that really gets to me.
Since anyone with even a passing knowledge of our Constitution knows the nefarious “foreign” sources influencing its principles, you have to conclude that these comments reflect pure pandering to blind ignorance and xenophobia, a calculated “race to the bottom” that comes right out of Idiocracy.
You can read Justice Ginsburg’s entire enlightened speech here.