The Supreme Court and America’s international relations
September 29, 2008 11:00 AM   Subscribe

When Judges Make Foreign Policy. "In a globalized, post-9/11 age, decisions made by the Supreme Court are increasingly shaping America's international relations. When the next justice is appointed, our place in the world may well hang in the balance."
posted by homunculus (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
One might argue the US Supreme Court cast our country's foreign policy die back in November 2000, before 9/11.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:11 AM on September 29, 2008

jeez, I can't stand Noah Feldman. He reminds me of Ralph Fiennes's portrayal of Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show. (I've read that Edward Said couldn't stand him, either, and As'ad AbuKhalil's views regarding him are absolutely scathing)
posted by Auden at 11:19 AM on September 29, 2008

The US should switch to civil law. That would solve the problem of those pesky judges.

Besides, how hard could it be?
posted by GuyZero at 11:54 AM on September 29, 2008

GuyZero: It works for Louisiana, it can work for you.
posted by athenian at 12:05 PM on September 29, 2008

Is LA civil law? I had no idea. I thought it was just Quebec. Man, those French know how to lay it down. the law, that is.
posted by GuyZero at 12:21 PM on September 29, 2008

"Over the last two centuries, the court’s decisions, ranging from the dreadful to the inspiring, have always reflected and shaped who “we the people” think we are. "

Such banality. Is this what it takes to write for the New York Times anymore? I wouldn't even write that way on Metatalk:

"Over the last several years, the posts in the Blue, ranging from the dreadful to the inspiring, have always reflected and shaped who 'we the Mefites' think we are."

Can I have tenure now?
posted by Slap Factory at 12:31 PM on September 29, 2008

GuyZero: C'est vrai
posted by athenian at 12:38 PM on September 29, 2008

Registration required!
posted by mr. strange at 1:06 PM on September 29, 2008

This seems to be a dressed-up version of the past decade's "activist judges!" cry from the Far Right. The erosion of the three part balance (including mandatory sentencing and the slow strangulation of court budgets) has long been a strategy from those who want a strictly populist nation. Popular laws enacted by popular legislators to satisfy the "needs" of the populace to get! things! done! is the goal.

Congresspeople are not interested in making sure that the law does not have weird gotchas, that the spirit and/or law of the Constitution is abided by, and that the law itself at least tries to be a cohesive whole. What they want is to be re-elected. The end result of the erosion of respect for the judicial branch is mob rule: more rubber-stamped laws, more hangin' judges, and less distance from the "immediate" problems faced.
posted by adipocere at 3:23 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

Like I needed one more reason to be petrified about the results of the upcoming election, homunculus.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:33 PM on September 29, 2008

My initial reaction is to doubt that this issue is really a new one, and I have a suspicion that if you looked, you could find a long tradition of the USSC influencing foreign policy (and probably being castigated for it by whomever was on the losing side of the argument).

If the Court really is getting into foreign policy more deeply as of late, I also think there's a fair argument to be made that it's because that policy has wider-ranging domestic effects (and thus falls squarely under their purview) than ever before. But I'm not sure I'd accept that premise too quickly, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:22 AM on September 30, 2008

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