This essay provides a commentary on Medellin v. Texas, where the Supreme Court invalidated a presidential memorandum directing states to comply with a judgment of the International Court of Justice. As a consequence of Medellin, the president and the courts may now at times be powerless to achieve compliance with a U.S. treaty. This essay considers how the U.S. compliance power can be revitalized after Medellin. Part I critiques the approach taken by the Court in Medellin and shows that there was an alternative interpretation of the United Nations Charter and the U.S. Constitution. Part II considers the implications of the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions for future U.S. implementing legislation and treaty design.
GW Paper Series
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-14; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-14
Steve Charnovitz, Revitalizing the U.S. Compliance Power, 102 Amer. J. of Int'l L. 551 (2008)