Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Medellin "Memorandum" from the President.

The following is the text of the memorandum issued by the President yesterday with respect to the enforcement of the ICJ's order which I discussed here and here. It is NOT an executive order (as I had thought), but it is some kind of memorandum from the President.
Some questions: Is it essentially an executive order? What is its legal effect on the Supreme Court? On the state courts that might hear the case? Is it within the authority of the President to issue such an order?
I will try to explore its implications more later (and upload the original file).
UPDATE: The Appendix to the Government's Brief, which includes the executive "determination" is here (thanks to Marty Lederman for the heads up).


THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON

February 28, 2005

MEMORANDUM FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

SUBJECT: Compliance with the Decision of the International Court of Justice in Avena


The United States is a party to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (the "Convention") and the Convention's Optional Protocol Concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes (Optional Protocol), which gives the International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction to decide disputes concerning the "interpretation and application" of the Convention.

I have determined, pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the United States will discharge its inter-national obligations under the decision of the International Court of Justice in the Case Concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America) (Avena), 2004 ICJ 128 (Mar. 31), by having State courts give effect to the decision in accordance with general principles of comity in cases filed by the 51 Mexican nationals addressed in that decision.
[Signed] George W. Bush

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