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Medellin v. Texas

Docket No.: 06-984
Certiorari Granted: 4/30/2007
Argued: October 10, 2007
Decided: August 5, 2008

Topics:

directly enforceable federal l, AEDPA, Article I, Full Faith and Credit, Miranda, Supremacy Clause, antitrust, habeas, habeas corpus, harmless error, preemption, public schools, separation of powers, sovereign immunity

PartyNames: Jose Ernesto Medellin v. Texas
Petitioner: Jose Ernesto Medellin
Respondent: Texas

Court Below: Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
Citation: 2006 WL 3302639
Supreme Court Docket

Jose Ernesto Medellin
v.
Texas
552 U.S. 491 (2008)
Background:

In the Case Concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mex. v. U.S.), I.C.J. No. 128 (judgment of Mar. 31, 2004), the International Court of Justice determined that 51 named Mexican nationals, including petitioner, were entitled to receive review and reconsideration of their convictions and sentences through the judicial process in the United States. On February 28, 2005, President George W. Bush determined that the United States would comply with its international obligation to give effect to the judgment by giving those 51 individuals review and reconsideration in the state courts. However, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that the President's determination exceeded his powers, and it refused to give effect to the Avena judgment or the President's determination. This case presents the following questions:

Question Presented:

1. Did the President of the United States act within his constitutional and statutory foreign affairs authority when he determined that the states must comply with the United States' treaty obligation to give effect to the Avena judgment in the cases of the 51 Mexican nationals named in the judgment? 2. Are state courts bound by the Constitution to honor the undisputed international obligation of the United States, under treaties duly ratified by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, to give effect to the Avena judgment in the cases that the judgment addressed?

Question:

Did the President act within his constitutional and statutory foreign affairs authority when he determined that states must comply with the U.S. treaty obligation under the Vienna Convention by enforcing a decision of the International Court of Justice? Does the Constitution require state courts to honor the treaty obligation of the U.S. by enforcing a decision of the International Court of Justice?

Holding: AFFIRMED
Vote: 6-3
Majority: Chief Justice Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito
Concurring: Stevens
Dissenting: Breyer,Souter,Ginsburg
Read MEDELLIN V. TEXAS opinion (PDF)

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