Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Supreme Court Ruling in Medellin v. Texas


Earlier this morning, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Medellin v. Texas.  Chief Justice Roberts’s majority opinion rules (1) that a judgment rendered by the International Court of Justice is not directly enforceable as domestic law in a state court, and (2) that the President did not have authority to bind state courts to follow the ICJ judgment.  I’m in the middle of reviewing the opinion, but the holding—especially on the first question—seems strong and clear and may well prove a landmark in forestalling the efforts of internationalists to use treaty interpretations by international bodies to impose on American citizens obligations that American citizens won’t adopt through the legislative process.  I hope to offer a fuller summary and analysis soon.


Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito joined the Chief’s opinion.  Justice Stevens wrote an opinion concurring in the judgment.  Justice Breyer, joined by Justices Souter and Ginsburg, dissented on the first question.

Tags: Whelan


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