October 11, 2007

Lithwick Discusses Medellin v. Texas

It's an interesting and complicated case.

Medellin v. Texas could be a law-school exam unto itself. It touches on the separation of powers and the supremacy clause, international treaties and state criminal codes, federalism and the reach of the president's diplomatic authority, all wrapped up in fundamental questions about the scope of judicial review. But really, the best part of Medellin is that if you are a casual spectator attempting to pick out the "good guys," here's your choice: the state of Texas and its relentless quest to execute its people without regard to moral, international, or legal norms, versus the Bush administration and its claim to broad new executive authority to boss around state judges. It's like having to choose between being clawed to ribbons by a grizzly bear or gnawed to death by a killer whale.

But obviously amid presenting the complications, Lithwick still manages to present zingers that are both funny and disturbingly on point. Another example:

It does make you wonder whether the president's Christmas lists and the doodles beside his phone also carry the force of law.

I read a lot of the transcript yesterday. Interesting stuff. And Ted Cruz (the young, famously conservative Solicitor General of Texas) was very good.

Posted by armand at October 11, 2007 08:30 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Law and the Courts

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