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Supreme Court to consider Bush authority to direct Texas court on ICJ compliance

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] granted certiorari Monday in Medellin v. Texas [cert. petition, PDF; case materials], 06-984, where the Court will consider whether the Bush administration has the authority to direct a state court to comply with a ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Jose Ernesto Medellin [ASIL backgrounder], a Mexican national sentenced to death in Texas for raping and murdering two teenage girls, is appealing a ruling [text; JURIST report] from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that President Bush "exceeded his constitutional authority by intruding into the independent powers of the judiciary" with an "unprecedented" directive ordering state court rehearings [JURIST report] for 51 Mexican nationals convicted in US courts. The president's February 2005 memorandum [text] instructed the Texas courts to follow a March 2004 ICJ decision [materials] that held that Medellin and the other Mexican nationals tried in US courts had been denied their right to contact the Mexican consulate for legal assistance under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [PDF text] and that the US was obligated to grant review and reconsideration of their convictions and sentences.

The case has reached the Supreme Court before, but was dismissed [JURIST report] after Bush issued his order. AP has more. Read the Court's full Order List [PDF text].

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