The Corner

Scalia Vs. Hamilton

TAPPED is impressed with this post, purporting to demonstrate that Alexander Hamilton would have approved of the Supreme Court’s citation of the European Court of Human Rights in the recent sodomy case–and that Justice Scalia and conservatives are wrong to object to this citation. But this looks like a misreading of the Federalist paper involved. Hamilton does not appear to me to be saying that Japanese law provides evidence for the meaning of an American constitutional provision. He is saying, rather, that a case in an American court may require the judges to discern the meaning of a Japanese law–say if a contract was made under Japanese law and its terms are adjudicated here.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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