The Supreme Court handed down its decision in Medellin v. Texas today. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion, which held that neither a judgment of the International court of Justice nor the President's executive order directing state courts to follow the ICJ's judgment constituted federal law that pre-empts a state's pre-existing bar on the litigation of subsequent habeas petitions....Among other things, the Court's holding in Medellin supports what I have written (in the context of war): "a treaty ... may neither violate nor change the meaning of the Constitution." Therefore, no treaty -- and no presidential act (purportedly) pursuant to a treaty -- may trump the Constitution or a constitutional law, either State or federal.
This appears to be quite a significant win for Texas (and states) that wil lhave significant ramifications for both separation of powers and the application of international law in U.S. courts.
(See also these three posts at Bench Memos.)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Jonathan Adler, writing at The Volokh Conspiracy, summarizes the win by Texas: