Sotomayor says judges can’t use foreign law as basis for ruling

Sotomayor says foreign law can’t be used

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor says judges aren’t allowed to use foreign or international law to interpret the Constitution.

She says in her 17 years on the bench, she’s never cited foreign law as the basis for an opinion.

Sotomayor was asked about that at her Senate confirmation hearing because of comments she’s made that critics say suggest she might allow laws of other countries to influence how she rules.

Sotomayor says in some cases, including treaties or contracts signed in other countries, it’s necessary to look at the laws of other countries or see how the treaties are interpreted there.

As he questioned her on the issue, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York pointed out that judges often make reference to nonbinding sources in their opinions.


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