Jessica Gresko, Associated Press
FILE - This April 23, 2018, file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington. The court ruled on Thursday, June 14, 2018, that U.S. courts do not have to accept as conclusive foreign governments’ explanations of their own laws.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says United States federal courts should consider statements from foreign governments about their own laws but do not have to consider them as binding.

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for a unanimous court that federal courts should give "respectful consideration" to what foreign governments say. But she wrote that federal courts don't have to treat what they say as conclusive.

Ginsburg said the appropriate weight given to a government's statement in each case will depend on the circumstances, including the clarity, thoroughness and support for what a government says.

The Thursday ruling came in a case that involves two U.S.-based purchasers of vitamin C, one in Texas and the other in New Jersey, and vitamin C exporters in China.