Monday, April 13, 2009
At a symposium to honor U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg last Friday at the Moritz College of Law in Columbus, Ohio, Justice Ginsberg once again defended the Court's use of foreign law. She suggested that the controversy with respect to this issue is a passing phase and may reflect a misunderstanding that the Court is using foreign law as precedent rather than simply using it for its persuasive authority. She further suggested that the Court's reluctance to engage with foreign judical colleagues is dimishing the influence of the court internationally.
At the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Law in Washington, D.C., a panel of supreme court justices appeared to largely agree with Justice Ginsberg. One of the members of the panel was John Hedigan, from the High Court of Ireland (and former judge on the European Court of Human Rights), who put it quite well, stating: "The idea that you would not search out wisdom wherever you can find it is quite extraordinary."