Nino Jumps Ugly at Congress Over Foreign Law
This is a great story to end the week. United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia made headlines again recently but it's not what you think. He didn't get in trouble, or make an offensive gesture, or go hunting with another litigant in a case before him. This time, Justice Scalia scolded his fellow conservatives in Washington for trying to undercut the Supreme Court's authority.
Speaking to the National Italian American Foundation, Scaliia told Congress to halt its efforts to try to ban the Supreme Court, or any federal court, from applying foreign-law principles to domestic rulings. "It's none of your business," the Justice said through the crowd to Congress. "No one is more opposed to the use of foreign law than I am, but I'm darned if I think it's up to Congress to direct the court how to make its decisions."
"Let us make our mistakes," the Justice continued, "as we let you make yours." And if this were the end of the story it would be enough, right? After all, it isn't every day that the conservative movement's legal darling takes it to task for proposing a more conservative approach to judicial decision-making. But it's not the end of the story. It gets even more bizarre.
After hearing about Justice Scalia's remarks, the Washington Post reported, Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla), who already has done more to undercut judicial authority than any single current member of Congress, said that Scalia "needs our help, even if he doesn't want it" when it comes to precluding foreign-law influence here at home. This from a guy who said that Scalia's comments were, the Post reported, "like being told your favorite baseball player disagrees with your approach to hitting."
Leave it to Feeney to get it wrong again. The Justice doesn't just disagree with Congress' approach to hitting. He wants the legislators to stay out of the batters box altogether.
Have a safe and happy weekend. I'm sure it will be tough for y'all to wait for the next post, on Monday, and also for my weekly column, which will focus upon, wait for it, the Judicial Transparency and Ethics Enhancement Act of 2006. You can stop yawning now.
May 19, 2006; 4:30 PM ET
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