Medellin and Hamdan

Slate's blog on legal issues.
March 25 2008 11:53 PM

Medellin and Hamdan

Reading over Chief Justice Roberts' Medellin opinion, it reminds me a lot of Justice Stevens' majority opinion in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006. Recall that in Hamdan , the court blocked the Bush administration's effort to create military commissions unilaterally by reading the UCMJ as requiring Congressional approval for those commissions.  The basic idea: If you guys in the executive branch wanna do military commissions, you gotta get Congress clearly and unambiguously on board first.

Medellin v. Texas strikes me as similar.  The majority reads the court's precedents on treaties as effectively requiring a clear statement that the treaty is self-executing before it will be construed to be so. And it also holds that the executive can't act on its own and make the Avena judgment binding.  The basic idea: If you guys in the executive branch wanna make these foreign judgments binding law, you gotta get Congress clearly and unambiguously on board first.


Of course, the people who like both Hamdan and Medellin could probably meet in a phone booth. (And Justice Kennedy is already in the phone booth.)  But the two decisions seem pretty similar to me.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.