The Supreme Court’s diplomatic offensive

The New Republic Online features this piece by Yale law student David Fontana, which argues that the Supreme Court has advanced our foreign policy interests by overturning the juvenile death penalty and citing foreign opinion in the process. Fontana feels that by paying attention to what foreigners thinks of our criminal justice system, we will reduce “our diplomatic isolation.”
It is comforting to believe that Justice Kennedy and his colleagues are able partially to offset the foreign policy set-backs that our elected leaders keep inflicting on this country. In reality, however, to the negligible extent that this decision may influence thinking by foreign elites it will cause Kennedy to be celebrated for being so much more enlightened than his countrymen and their leaders. Kennedy will be even better received on his European junkets, but America itself will obtain no advantage. But if the Supreme Court can think of a way to seize control of substantive American foreign policy. . . .
For a closely reasoned New Republic piece by a Yale law student that focuses, quaintly, on the legal merit of Kennedy’s use of foreign authority and finds it wanting, see this analysis by Will Baude.


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