Medellin v. Texas and the Ultimate Law School Exam, by Ilya Shapiro


Commentators often fall in love with the object of their analysis and thereby lose perspective. After being immersed for so long in the minutia of a given topic, and investing so much in a particular narrative or thesis, it becomes difficult not to overstate the importance of the subject matter. In recognizing this bias with respect to Medelli´n v. Texas,1 I hope to avoid it. Having said that, I don?t believe it?s an exaggeration to call this the most intellectually interesting case of the term. It is also probably the one with the broadest implications

for American jurisprudence, coming at the increasingly topical intersection of international and constitutional law.

Medelli´n presented the Court with a law school exam of a case, combining questions of treaty interpretation and application, federalism, separation of powers, and criminal procedure. It forced the justices to grapple with tensions between international and domestic law (and what that means for the Constitution?s Supremacy Clause), federal and state government, and the president and three separate

institutions: Congress, the Supreme Court, and?in what then-Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (who argued the case) has called a ??Mobius twist???state courts. In short, this remarkable case raised issues touching on every axis of governmental structure, checks and balances,

and the design of political institutions.

For more information please read full article. (This article is from the Cato Supreme Court Review 2007-2008).

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