Coburn takes an interest in foreign law

COBURN TAKES AN INTEREST IN FOREIGN LAW…. The conservative preoccupation with judicial references to foreign law has always been rather misguided. But sensible or not, the right takes this very seriously.

Indeed, just yesterday, Sen. Tom Coburn, a far-right Republican from Oklahoma, reminded Judge Sonia Sotomayor:

“We don’t want judges to consider legislation and foreign law that’s developed through bodies, elected bodies outside of this country.”

I think that’s a little closed-minded, but Coburn’s perspective on this is hardly unusual.

What was interesting, though, was what Coburn told Sotomayor less than 24 hours later:

“What I was trying to draw out to you is, where do we stand in this country when 80% of the rest of the world allows abortion only before 12 weeks, only before 12 weeks?

“And yet we allow it for any reason, at any time, for any inconvenience under the health of the woman aspect.”

Sotomayor did not remind Coburn that he wants her to disregard “foreign law that’s developed through elected bodies outside of this country,” but I kind of wish she had.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.