Author: David Sloss

I would like to thank Opinio Juris for hosting this symposium. Additionally, I would like to thank the distinguished contributors for their thoughtful and provocative posts. In this final post of the symposium, I offer a few brief responses to the contributors. Carmen Gonzalez hopes that activists will deploy the treaty supremacy rule in conjunction with the Convention on Elimination of...

[David Sloss is the Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Global Law and Policy at Santa Clara Law School] In Samantar v. Yousuf (2010), the Supreme Court directed lower courts to apply common law rules to resolve immunity defenses raised by individual foreign government officers, except in cases where a treaty provides the controlling rule. The Court remanded...

It is a privilege to comment on the excellent article by Professor Hathaway and her co-authors entitled “International Law at Home: Enforcing Treaties in U.S. Courts” (“IL at Home”). The article makes several important contributions to the growing body of scholarship on the domestic application of treaties in US courts and I agree with many of the authors’ central claims....

I wanted to react quickly to two of the other items posted earlier today. First, Paul Stephan makes the point that Justice Breyer's dissent is "very problematic." I agree. Breyer's opinion does not make a helpful contribution to untying the "Gordian knot" of non-self-execution doctrine. Second, Curt Bradley claims that the Court's decision effectively reserves "to...

In Medellin, the Court held “that neither Avena nor the President’s Memorandum constitutes directly enforceable federal law . . . .” This comment focuses on the effect of the Avena judgment itself, and disregards the President’s Memorandum. The majority was undoubtedly correct to hold that Avena is not “directly enforceable federal law.” In fact, Avena is not...

During the 1790s, the Supreme Court decided numerous cases involving Article 17 of the 1778 Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France. These cases all arose in the context of an ongoing naval war that pitted France against England and Spain. France commissioned several privateers to attack British and Spanish merchant ships. The French privateers brought captured...

In Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon, the Supreme Court engaged in a practice that, sadly, is becoming increasingly common in cases where an individual litigant raises a claim or defense on the basis of a treaty. The Court ignored the relevant constitutional text. Despite the fact that the text of the Supremacy Clause explicitly addresses a central issue in the...

Iran’s emerging nuclear weapons program poses a grave threat to U.S. national security interests. If left unchecked, Iran may well have a nuclear weapon within the next decade, if not sooner. See this article in the Washington Post. An Iranian nuclear weapon threatens U.S. interests in at least two distinct ways. First, there is a significant...

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 86 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and another 26 are abolitionist in practice. Virtually every western industrial democracy except the United States has abolished capital punishment. What explains the sharp contrast between U.S. and international attitudes about the death penalty? In brief, I contend that the...

[Opinio Juris welcomes Professor David Sloss as a guest respondent. Professor Sloss is an expert on foreign relations law (among other areas) and he teaches at Saint Louis University School of Law. His recent articles can be found here.] I want to thank John Bellinger for his recent posts on this blog. He has presented a very thoughtful and...