Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to ask a question, and that question is relatively simple. By what legal authority do justices of our Supreme Court use foreign world tribunals, global opinion, and the philosophy of European elites in making their decisions, those decisions that affect all Americans of this Nation? By what license, by what authority do members of America's highest court ignore our Constitution, the Constitution they took an oath to defend, and why do they cite foreign court decisions at all, decisions from England, the European Union, the World Court, Belgium, and numerous other nations? The Constitution clearly does not give them the power to abandon the scriptures of the Constitution. So where do they obtain such authority? Mr. Speaker, has the Supreme Court lost its way?

I imagine that these justices wonder who I am to question them and their use of foreign court decisions in making laws that apply to the rest of us. With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, I am a citizen of the Republic just as they are. I am an elected representative of this House that represents the people. Furthermore, I possess a loyal and lengthy relationship with the law. I am a former instructor in constitutional law. I was a trial prosecutor for 8 years, trying every type of criminal case from theft to kidnapping to capital murder, including cases where the death penalty was assessed and executions were actually carried out.

But more recently, I spent 22 years as a felony court trial judge in Houston, Texas. I heard over 20,000 criminal cases. In fact, I suspect I heard more criminal cases in 1 year than all the nine judges of the Supreme Court decided in an equal amount of time. As a criminal court judge, I used the Constitution, particularly the first 14 amendments, every day. I made decisions that affected people, real people, defendants, victims, and the community. Those decisions affected those individuals for the rest of their lives. I determined whether individuals should lose their property, their liberty, and their freedom. Sometimes the decisions I made even resulted in those individuals losing their life. Yet every one of those 20,000 cases was rooted in the United States Constitution.

Individuals who came to my court, whether they were defendants, victims, or members of the community, knew that the basis of all American law is in the Constitution. Not my personal opinion, not the rulings of foreign nations, and not the World Court. Not even what the French think. It is the Constitution that gives all courts from trial courts to the courts of appeal their foundation, their identity. If I had used any other law but that of the Constitution, I would have been removed from the bench.

In the jury trials over which I presided, the jury too would take an oath to follow the law and the evidence. They were to internalize the law of the Constitution and make their decisions. They were expected to decide the case with domestic law, our law, not the law in some other nation.

Mr. Speaker, if our Supreme Court uses foreign court decisions, why cannot our trial courts use foreign court decisions in their opinions? If the Supreme Court justices are our example, why cannot that example be followed by other judges in America? Is it not good for the gander what is good for the goose?

Using foreign court decisions across the board would create, of course, judicial chaos, judicial anarchy. But yet the Supreme Court does exactly this. Why should the Supreme Court be left to its own devices? If there is any other standard other than the Constitution, than what is next?

Mr. Speaker, looking to foreign court decisions is as relevant as using the writings in ``Reader's Digest,'' a Sears and Roebuck catalogue, a horoscope, my grandmother's recipe for the common cold, looking at tea leaves, star gazing, or the local gossip at the barber shop in Cut N' Shoot, Texas. Mr. Speaker, has the Supreme Cour