The Corner

Did Justice Kennedy Consult the Sharia?

Dan reports below that Justice Kennedy once again resorted to foreign law to support the Court’s diktat that the Eighth Amendment now purportedly forbids life sentences for those 16 and younger who commit non-homicide felonies. ”The United States,” he said, “is the only Nation that imposes this type of sentence.”

The penalty for theft under Islamic law is the amputation of the right hand. That’s for a first offense. For a second offense, the left foot is cut off. For additional thefts after that, there are no further amputations — the person is simply imprisoned until he has repented in a manner satisfactory to the Muslim state (meaning for life if he fails to repent). For these penalties to be imposed, the offender must be (a) sane and (b) have reached puberty, meaning these penalties will often be applied to Muslim minors who are considerably younger than 16.

By the way, the defendant in the case before the Supreme Court is alleged to have committed two armed robberies.

There are about 1.4 billion Muslims in the world. As Andrew Bostom has pointed out, a 2007 poll, taken across various Islamic countries by the University of Maryland and WorldPublic Opinion.org, found that nearly two-thirds of Muslims (65.5%) favor “a strict application of Shari’a law in every Islamic country.”

Sharia also prescribes the death penalty for, among other things, apostasy, homosexuality, and adultery.

It would be nice if Justice Kennedy and the rest of the Court’s transnational-progressives would come clean and admit that when they cite foreign law, they are selectively mining other countries and international tribunals for leftist standards that transnational progressives find congenial. Quite apart from the impropriety of relying on foreign law to interpret America’s Constitution, the thought that the justices are honestly, objectively seeking out some sort of universal consensus — rather than rationalizing the imposition of their own pieties — is farcical.

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