Erick Erickson at RedState reads Sonia Sotomayor’s written response to the judiciary committee’s questions about the use of foreign law as amending her oral testimony to the point of reversing its meaning. I actually don’t think it reverses her position so much as drains it of any meaningful content.
Sotomayor’s statement that “[r]eading the decisions of foreign courts for ideas, however, does not constitute ‘using’ those decisions to decide cases” reminds me of the debate Justices Scalia and Breyer had on this topic a few years ago. “I’m not preventing you from reading [foreign] cases,” Scalia quipped. “I mean, just indulge your curiosity! Just don’t put it in your opinions!” Would Sotomayor cite foreign caselaw in her opinions? I suspect so, but her written and oral testimony, taken together, don’t really answer the question one way or the other.