Against Foreign Law

In the last few years, some Supreme Court Justices have been looking to the decisions of foreign and international courts for guidance in interpreting the American constitution. This practice has occurred not only in minor instances, but in several controversial, high-profile cases. Roper v. Simmons, which struck down application of the death penalty to offenders who were under 18 when their crimes were committed, Lawrence v. Texas, in which the Court struck down a state law that criminalized homosexual sodomy, and Atkins v. Virginia, which found unconstitutional the execution of mentally retarded capital defendants, are three of the most prominent recent decisions discussing foreign and international precedents.

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