SCOTUS decided on the 25th of March on the Medellin v. Texas case. Essentially it asserts that International Treaties (in this case, the U.N. Vienna Convention) are not automatically enforceable judicially, and the wording of the treaty itself can be used to determine whether the law must be codified by Executive or Legislative action.

The Vienna Convention held that foreign nationals needed to be notified of their right to consult their consulate if they were arrested and charged. The justice system in Texas had not offered Medellin that right, so he brought it up on appeal in the U.S. District Court, and it eventually made its way up to the Supreme Court.

I’m of the opinion that Justice Roberts (and the other four in the majority) have this right, legally. There’s a little debate at the Federalist Society which is interesting. If you can make your way through the legal stuff, (and if I can…you can) you’ll see those that support the decision have a pretty strong argument.

As always, though, with these international cases, I try to pretend that if an American was in another country and committed a heinous crime, would I want them to be extradited? Would it depend on the crime? Or would it depend on the country? Or neither?

It’s an interesting case.

Another strike against “International Law”
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