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The Washington Post weighs in today with a surprisingly sensible editorial applauding President Bush's decision to withdraw from the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (which I discussed here). Were the Optional Protocol a useful instrument in protecting Americans abroad, it might make sense to tolerate the international court's presumptuousness. But the protocol doesn't help much. Most...

Reports indicate the President is planning to submit DR-CAFTA to Congress in the next few weeks. This will trigger the 90 day clock for approval. This report suggests the President is still 20 votes short in the House. Get ready for a trade fight!...

Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog usefully analyzes Texas's latest salvo in the ongoing battle over what to do with the Medellin case in the Supreme Court now that the President has sided with Medellin. Somewhat to my surprise, Texas is opposing Medellin's motion for a stay pending its state court litigation (which was prompted by the President's executive determination discussed here)....

As I had already posted, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for his actions as a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army. CNN is now running an informative update on Haradinaj’s not-guilty plea on 37 counts and on the case in general.In other ICTY news, Gojko Jankovic, a...

Just in case the Bush Administration’s recent diplomatic initiatives were in danger of changing the President’s image, the LA Times reports on a new study finding that President Bush has signed fewer treaties at this point in his term than his predecessor Bill Clinton and even than his father.Now President Bush may indeed be unilateralist, and even anti-internationalist (and that...

Although I noted that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejected this ATS suit arising out of alleged killings in El Salvador just last week, today the same court (with different judges) upheld a $4 million judgment against ex-Chilean military officers who executed a Chilean doctor (Winston Cabello) in the 1970s (thanks to my colleague Eric Freedman...

Critics of the U.S. government’s post-September 11 “war on terror” have a variety of complaints. One of the most salient is the “unilateral” and perhaps even “illegal” use of military force by the U.S. in its attempt to either attack terrorist groups or prevent such groups from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.There is some force to this critique, but ultimately...

President Bush’s withdrawal from the Vienna Convention’s Optional Protocol granting the ICJ jurisdiction has startled many supporters of greater internationalism, but in the long run, I do not think this withdrawal is likely to be more than a blip as a political matter. Bigger battles are afoot.As I noted here, Congress will likely vote this year on whether or not...

I suggested last week that the Vietnamese Agent Orange lawsuit against U.S. chemical companies had a good chance of success because the presiding judge was the legendary Jack Weinstein of Brooklyn. Boy was I wrong.Judge Weinstein dismissed the lawsuit today only 3 days after hearing arguments in the case finding that the plaintiffs had no basis for their claims under...

I noted rumors/reports of this below, and now the New York Times confirms that the U.S. has withdrawn from the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The Optional Protocol is the provision granting the International Court of Justice compulsory jurisdiction over disputes under the consular relations treaty and the basis for Mexico's (and Germany's) applications to the...

Medellin's attorneys have filed a motion to stay further proceedings in the Supreme Court on the domestic effect of the ICJ's judgment in Avena "while Petitioner pursues his remedies in Texas court, as contemplated by the President’s determination of February 28, 2005, implementing the judgment in [Avena] and the position taken by the United States in this Court." (Thanks to...