Judges around the world have long looked to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court for guidance, citing and often following them in hundreds of their own rulings since the Second World War.
But now American legal influence is waning. Even as a debate continues in the court over whether its decisions should ever cite foreign law, a diminishing number of foreign courts seem to pay attention to the writings of American justices.
“One of our great exports used to be constitutional law,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. “We are losing one of the greatest bully pulpits we have ever had.”
Why? As the article explains, it is in large part because other countries don't actually like and admire us anymore. It's also in part because the US Supreme Court doesn't mine the wisdom of other countries in its own decisions -- that makes it an isolated island of ideas in an otherwise interconnected world, and therefore one which is rapidly falling behind.
The article doesn't mention Bush v Gore, but it's hard to imagine that doesn't have a lot to do with it: the US Supreme Court, in 2000, took a shit on democracy itself and decided an election -- the only decision it's ever written which included a warning against using the decision as precedent (wah-?): How do you use a court that does THAT as an authoritative source of legal reasoning?
In the end, the Supreme Court of 2000 will be held to blame for the decline of the USA. Let those jackasses live with that -- we all have to live with the mess they made. The Supreme Court that resulted from the mess (today's court) is even worse. And should McCain actually win this thing, we are one retirement away from the end of Roe v Wade, from a decline not just of US power and authority and economy and civil rights and privacy rights and everything else we've lost, but the absolute loss of the single most important freedom out there: the right to make, without government intervention, the most personal choices about what happens or doesn't happen inside your own body. If there is a woman in this country who is planning to vote for that, she ought to be slapped.
It's going to be really hard to rebuild this country. Time to get started. Obama is our start, people. No dithering. We need this, now.