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. Justice Stevens concurred in the judgment, while Justice Breyer wrote a dissent on behalf of himself and Justices Souter and Ginsburg.
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. While I have yet to read the opinion, I think it is significant that C.J. Roberts wrote an opinion for a unified majority. There's no hair-splitting Kennedy concurrence here, nor is there an opinion from either Justice Thomas or Scalia complaining that the Chief made too many concessions.
Here's an early AP report on the decision. SCOTUSBlog has some instant reactions here and here. Opinio Juris is also hosting an insta-symposium on the decision that should fill up in the next few days. Time permitting, I'll have more once I've digested the case as well.
Related Posts (on one page):
- Democracy and International Human Rights Law:
- The UN Human Rights Council and the Influence of Nondemocratic States on International Law:
- The U.N. "Human Rights Council" Again Urges Speech Suppression:
- Should the United States Obey the Decisions of the International Court of Justice?
- Reflections on Medellin:
- A Texas-Sized Win for Texas in Medellin: