Finkelstein, C. S. (2021). Beyond Our Borders: Foreign Law In American Courts. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.2388
Within the past decade or so, lawmakers in nearly 32 states have introduced bills that have attempted to ban foreign, religious, and international laws in American courts. This thesis located lower level judges who have cited or adopted a foreign authority in their opinion. The qualitative portion of this project answered the following questions: under what circumstances (and in what ways) do judges cite or adopt foreign authorities as they pertain specifically to cases on same-sex marriage? Is there something systematic that can be said about the judges who have embraced this practice of looking beyond our borders? Do these findings problematize the notion that this is inherently and historically a Democratic/liberal practice? And lastly, does the behavior and perspective of lower-level court judges mirror that of Supreme Court justices? According to the results, some kernels of truth proved that this practice is influenced by ideology. Still, this thesis destabilized popular conceptions that surround Democratic and Republican voting behavior and practice. These findings contributed to the overarching implications of this project. They reject existing generalizations of inherent values that are perceived as being engrained within a strictly two-sided political and legal system.