Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favour of Texas and against the federal government in a case involving the implementation of the judgment of the International Court of Justice known as the Avena case (http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&k=18&case=128&code=mus&p3=4). Avena was the third such application to the International Court of Justice on behalf of foreign nationals who had been sentenced to death in the courts of the United States without having received the notice of their entitlement to consular assistance, something required by international treaty. Some US states have taken the view that the judgment of the International Court of Justice does not bind them, and the Supreme Court of the United States has backed them up.
According to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal: ‘Devotees of using foreign law to overrule American politicians will squawk. But the Medellín majority has delivered a victory for legal modesty and the U.S. Constitution.’ (see: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120649157469864165.html?mod=googlenews_wsj).
I never thought I would be upset if Bush lost a case in court but, as Yogi Berra once said, ‘never say never’.
For more on this, see the symposium of the Suffolk Transnational Law Review: http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/transnat/symposium.cfm. The articles were written before the judgment, and with a view of perhaps influencing the thinking of the Court. Unfortunately, the Court moved more quickly than the journal.