The First Amendment in Cross-Cultural Perspective: A Comparative Legal Analysis of the Freedom of Speech
The First Amendment in Cross-Cultural Perspective: A Comparative Legal Analysis of the Freedom of Speech. By Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr. New York: New York University Press, 2006. 336p. $50.00.
The growing influence of modern foreign laws and legal rulings on the American model of constitutionalism is a dirty little secret no longer. In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, made no apologies about his willingness to consult with rulings from the European Court of Human Rights in holding that the Fourteenth Amendment's promise of due process of law forbids the state of Texas from prohibiting sodomy between consenting adults. Court observers should have seen this development coming: With the breakdown of the Soviet Union came the emergence of new Western-style democracies thrust into the position of building new republics from scratch. American constitutional scholars were called upon in the late 1980s and early 1990s to consult with officials from these countries and advise them on the drafting of their own constitutions. Constitutionalism is now a commodity that travels across international lines. The Supreme Court's controversial method in Lawrence may or may not signal the beginning of a new era of cross-national consultations by the high Court. However, it does coincide with a growing interest on the part of political scientists studying comparative law and comparative constitutionalism during the past decade.