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Medellin argument summaries

The US Supreme Court heard oral argument in Medellin v. Texas yesterday. The Court took the very rare action of allowing the one-hour argument to run on for an additional 20 minutes. A transcript of the argument is available here. Scotusblog provides its analysis of the argument in Analysis: How to say no to the President? A brief excerpt:

"With cross-currents of constitutional and international law flowing freely, what appeared to be a majority of the Justices looked askance at a Presidential memo in February 2005, directing nine U.S. states to give 51 Mexican nationals convicted of crimes in those states a new chance to test their rights under an international treaty, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. What was troubling those Justices the most, it seemed, was that the President had sought to make binding a ruling by the World Court that would otherwise not have controlling effect on states' ciminal procedures. That was worrisome for two reasons: it might intrude on the Court’s role to say what the legal meaning and effect of treaties is, and it might empower the World Court, in effect, to dictate the substance of American law."

How Appealing provides links to newspaper articles about the case, including Linda Greenhouse's article in the New York Times, Case of Texas Murder Engrosses Supreme Court.

Dahlia Lithwick provides her analysis of the argument in Texas Holds Him: Leave it to Texas to put a stop to executive overreaching. Slate 10/10/07 My favorite lines: "But really, the best part of Medellin is that if you are a casual spectator attempting to pick out the "good guys," here's your choice: the state of Texas and its relentless quest to execute its people without regard to moral, international, or legal norms, versus the Bush administration and its claim to broad new executive authority to boss around state judges. It's like having to choose between being clawed to ribbons by a grizzly bear or gnawed to death by a killer whale."

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