SCOTUS tells the ICJ to go hang
March 31, 2008 7:31 PM Subscribe
posted by valkyryn (59 comments total)
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On March 25, the Supreme Court held
(pdf) that rulings by the International Court of Justice
are essentially not binding upon state courts. This paves the way
for Texas to execute one Jose Ernesto Medellin for the rape and murder
of two teenage girls.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judgment
of the ruled
(caution: disastrously formatted HTML) in 2006 that Medellin's objections, grounded on the fact that the Mexican consulate was not notified of his trial, were not sufficient to vacate his conviction, as he had been provided with a competent legal defense and none of his constitutional
rights had been violated.
The ICJ held
(huge pdf) (summary
) that the Vienna Convention
creates individually enforceable rights, that Medellin's rights had been violated, and that Texas should order a new trial. President Bush, surprising everyone, ordered
Texas to comply.
The Supreme Court, which voted 6-3 to affirm the Texas court, held 1) that judgments of the ICJ are not directly enforceable as domestic law, and 2) the President cannot require states to effectuate the judgments of foreign courts.
The Court's 2005 opinion
(pdf) withdrawing certiorari as improvidently granted.
And! discussion questions