Avena is Back at the ICJ: What’s the Point?
What exactly does Mexico hope to accomplish in its proceeding for a “Request for an Interpretation” of the 2004 ICJ Avena Judgment? The ICJ held hearings today (transcript here) and the International Herald Tribune has a nice account here. I understand that there is an international legal argument to be made here, but it is hard to see how any new judgment from the ICJ will have any more of a domestic legal effect than its earlier ones. And since the U.S. government has already acknowledged the requirements of the original ICJ judgment in Avena, all that will happen here is more international posturing by the ICJ, more hand-wringing by the U.S. government, and more posturing by Texas.
Mexico needs to shut down its legal team (as good as they are), and starting using its diplomats. Congress is the obvious place to start, but given the urgency, Texas (and its commutation board) is the other place to go. The ICJ may provide yet another judgment (and its willingness to act quickly in scheduling its public hearing two weeks after Mexico’s application) which will be again ignored by Texas.