A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Senate bill would discourage US courts from citing foreign precedent

[JURIST] US Senator John Cornyn [official website], a senior Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sunday introduced a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that judicial decisions regarding the US Constitution should not be influenced by foreign law. The purpose of SR 92 [text, PDF] would be to discourage the use of foreign precedent in deciding constitutional issues unless the foreign decision cited to the original meaning of the Constitution of the United States. Read the Cornyn press release. The use of foreign precedent, especially in the US Supreme Court, has in recent years became a source of controversy, with leading justices taking different sides on the issue [transcript of Scalia-Breyer conversation, January 2005]. International precedents and trends recently played a role in the Court's ruling in Roper v. Simmons, which struck down the death penalty for juveniles [JURIST report]. Cornyn's resolution has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for further study.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.