LONDON — The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court long have been Anglophiles, routinely turning to antique English cases to help decide issues from gun rights to terrorism.
The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist had gold stripes stitched into his robe to emulate the British Lord Chancellor’s costume in a Gilbert and Sullivan opera.
Now, the Mother Country is following the lead of its offspring. This month, the U.K. replaced its Law Lords — a committee of noblemen that served as the highest tribunal for much of Britain — with the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. It isn’t just the name that echoes the top American court. For the first time, the U.K.’s highest court is fully separated, American-style, from Parliament and its legislative function.
October 24, 2009