Compared to other Western democracies, references to “human rights” are rare in domestic American law. A survey of landmark Supreme Court cases reveals that both conservative and liberal Justices made no mention of “human rights” when addressing fundamental questions: racial segregation, the death penalty, women’s rights, children’s rights, gay rights, and indefinite detention at Guantanamo. This absence illustrates a broader societal trait. Americans widely consider human rights violations a foreign problem, not a domestic one. By contrast, human rights play a relatively important role as a domestic principle in Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Diverse legal, political, social, and historical factors shed light on why human rights have not made headway as a principle in the United States. In addition, the disinclination to frame domestic problems as human rights issues or to consider humanitarian questions per se, helps explain why modern-day America has a comparatively worse human rights record than other Western democracies.