High court justices debate foreign rulings

Jan. 14, 2005 at 7:33 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Two U.S. Supreme Court justices debated whether foreign court rulings should influence their decisions, USA Today reported Friday.

Antonin Scalia, appointed by President Reagan, and Stephen Breyer, appointed by President Clinton, debated the issue Thursday at Washington's American University.

"We don't have the same moral and legal framework as the rest of the world, and we never have," said Scalia, who opposes looking to foreign rulings to decide U.S. cases.

To which Breyer responded: "You can learn something" from foreign countries, adding that it is a matter of "opening your eyes to things that are going on elsewhere."

Foreign court rulings recently emerged as material to the high court's rulings. In 2003, when the majority struck down state anti-sodomy laws, it mentioned the European Court of Human Rights has affirmed a right of adults to engage in homosexual activity.

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