Friday, March 9, 2007
Who/what is Charming Betsy
The Schooner Charming Betsy was the subject of a famous 1804 opinion by Justice Marshall. [For those who want to know more, and to see "my" picture, see the Charming Betsy website here.] It's definitely not famous for anything it said about citizenship, maritime law or the laws of war, but for Marshall's statement that "an act of Congress ought never to be construed to violate the law of nations if any other possible construction remains." Since that captures a chunk of what I believe about how US courts should approach international law -- though many current judges and justices seem blithely to ignore Marshall's admonition [see comment about then-Judge Roberts' jurisprudence in Slate.com]-- I adopted this name, though I am definitely not a Betsy and probably not charming. In my "day job" I teach criminal law, family law, transnational variants of both and law and medicine at the University of Miami School of Law. I look forward to participating in a dialogue by women about the world for women and other humans.