The University of New Hampshire Law Review


[Excerpt] “Walking down Nanjing Road in Shanghai, you will not only pass by the foreign clothing stores that seem to be taking over the area, but also Pepsi signs every fifty feet, a McDonald’s, and a KFC—all with the backdrop of Chinese characters and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Along your way, you can stop in The Chopstick Shop to find the perfect set of chopsticks, buy a smoothie from a vendor, or just sit on a bench and watch the thousands of Chinese people walk by wearing Nike hats and Levi’s jeans. Just across the river is the Pudong New Area, ten years ago just farmland—now one of the most recognized skylines in China, indeed, in the world. These skyscrapers showcase foreign investment in China like nothing else. Foreign banks, companies, and law firms are all flocking to this area to compete in the Chinese marketplace. There is no doubt that even China, a country halfway across the world and so fundamentally different from the United States, is influenced by our business and culture. American culture is no longer limited to the fifty states, but is a way of life throughout most of the world. The way we dress, the way we act, even the way we think is becoming the global norm. However, this is not just a one-way road; the United States is also slowly adapting to the way the rest of the world thinks. One area where this can be seen is in the recent Supreme Court cases relying on international precedent. Much like the streets in China that are no longer free from foreign influences, our own Constitution is now being interpreted using international authority. Justices Scalia and Thomas disapprove. In his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, Scalia went so far as to state that the use of international authority is meaningless and dangerous dicta. Justice Thomas, referencing international precedent on capital punishment, has stated that “this Court’s Eighth Amendment jurisprudence should not impose foreign moods, fads, or fashions on Americans.” But do we not as Americans impose our fashions, fads, and moods on the rest of the world? The irony is thick—our globalization mentality is coming back to haunt us.”

Repository Citation

Frederick C. Millett, Will the United States Follow England (and the Rest of the World) in Abandoning Capital Punishment?, 6 Pierce L. Rev. 547 (2008), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol6/iss3/11

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