The Corner

Even Scottish Law Would Be Better than This

It’s bad enough that we have judges who look to foreign law to aid them in “interpreting” our Constitution. But now foreign governments are actually seeking to interfere in our domestic jurisprudence. From the Politico story Jonah highlighted the other day:

In a new twist in the fight over Arizona’s immigration law, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday asked a federal court to disallow foreign governments from joining the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit to overturn the law. 

The move comes in response to a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued Monday, allowing nearly a dozen Latin American countries — Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Chile — to submit friend-of-the-court briefs in Justice’s challenge to SB 1070, which Brewer signed into law in April and is considered one of the nation’s toughest immigration-enforcement measures. 

“As do many citizens, I find it incredibly offensive that these foreign governments are using our court system to meddle in a domestic legal dispute and to oppose the rule of law,” the Republican governor said in a statement shortly after the state’s motion was filed Tuesday evening. 

“What’s even more offensive is that this effort has been supported by the U.S. Department of Justice. American sovereignty begins in the U.S. Constitution and at the border,” she added. “I am confident the 9th Circuit will do the right thing and recognize foreign interference in U.S. legal proceedings and allow the State of Arizona to respond to their brief.”

I’m not confident that the 9th Circuit will do the right thing. But it’s hard to argue that Mexico, Argentina, et al, can be faulted for doing this — you earn your sovereignty by defending it, and if you fail to do so, others will fill the vacuum. As a former boss once told me, you teach people how to treat you, and I’m afraid we’re teaching puny nations all over the world that they can get away with this sort of thing.

I wonder if the State Department actually solicited the interference of these foreign governments into our court system. Sounds like a good topic for a hearing of the House immigration subcommittee — come January.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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