Although I doubt the current measures will garner sufficient votes to pass, it is disquieting that they have attracted sizable support. And one not-so-small concern - they fuel the irrational fringe. A personal example. The U.S. Supreme Court's Marshal alerted Justice O'Connor and me to a February 28, 2005, web posting on a "chat" site. It opened:Okay commandoes, here is your first patriotic assignment . . . an easy one. Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and O'Connor have publicly stated that they use [foreign] laws and rulings to decide how to rule on American cases.
This is a huge threat to our Republic and Constitutional freedom. . . . If you are what you say you are, and NOT armchair patriots, then those two justices will not live another week.
Nearly a year has passed since that posting. Justice O'Connor, though to my great sorrow retired just last week from the Court's bench, remains alive and well. As for
me, you can judge for yourself.
I do not think courts should rely on foreign judicial opinions when deciding domestic cases (such as Simmons v. Roper). I disagree with Justice Ginsberg on that front. However, there is no excuse for advocating political assassination. These folks are going outside the boundaries of the law, and our political system, and need to be put away for a long time.
Yet there are going to be some people who make excuses for them the way excuses have been made for other unacceptable conduct on the part of people on the right. It's one of the reasons that I no longer consider myself a conservative.