Emory International Law Review


Rex D. Glensy


The Constitution of South Africa mandates that its Supreme Court use international law to determine the substantive meaning of its own Bill of Rights. The Constitution of the United States does no such thing. Nevertheless, from time to time, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken it upon itself to use international law as persuasive authority to interpret various provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, the Court has done so in very high profile cases such as Lawrence v. Texas, where the Court struck down a Texas anti-sodomy statute as an unconstitutional violation of due process. The high visibility of the cases in which the Court has called upon international law to determine the proper meaning of certain domestic constitutional provisions has brought a lot of attention to this practice. This Article proposes a method for the selection of international law within the framework of U.S. domestic constitutional interpretation.