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As I noted on Friday, respondent's brief were due yesterday in Medellin v. Dretke, the Supreme Court case considering the domestic enforcement of judgments by the International Court of Justice. Texas filed a brief (which can be found here) as did a group of law professors (myself included) who filed an amicus brief here in support. But the big question...

In this opinion handed down today, Judge Henry Floyd of the US District Court in Charleston granted Jose Padilla's habeas petition, explicitly rejecting the government's position that the President has broad powers to detain US citizens as enemy combatants. The government has 45 days to charge Padilla with a crime, hold him as a material witness, or release him. Here's...

In a case argued this morning at the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice has sided with a group of disabled cruise passengers who sued Norwegian Cruise Lines for failing to provide the kinds of accommodations required on public transportation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. NCL argues that, because their ships fly under the Bahamian flag, extraterritoriality doctrines should...

Looking beyond the very real problem of human rights abusers sitting as members of the UN Human Rights Commission, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer (a former colleague from my days in practice) has a cogent essay in last week's TNR ($) criticizing the Commission's 1503 procedure. The 1503 procedure was introduced in the 1970s to enable individuals to bring...

Central America expert David Holiday points me to this LA Times op-ed yesterday on the recent Mexican Supreme Court decision to bar an indictment for genocide against a former Mexican President. If correct, the article suggests that the recent fad for genocide indictments in Latin America are being driven almost completely by the requirements of international law. Thus, as I...

Arguments will begin today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn over a motion to dismiss an Alien Tort Statute lawsuit by Vietnamese nationals seeking damages from manufacturers of Agent Orange, an herbicide used by the U.S. during the Vietnam War. This remarkable suit is brought as a class action on behalf of every...

I want to weigh in on what has been a fascinating discussion of war and legality in the context of Iraq and Kosovo and also the lingering issue of the gulf between the US and Europe on these fundamental questions.First, on Julian's and Chris' comments about the rules governing the use of force and doctrines of interpretation: the problem for...

In discussing the Iraq War, many apologists for the Administration have picked up and discarded doctrines, methods of interpretation, and justifications, with alarming speed and with little concern for consistency. At the end of the day, if international legal rules concerning warfare are something they consider important, then they will have to enunciate a coherent view of what those rules...

Thanks everyone for commenting here. Although I have to run to class, I can't resist a quick response.I think international law matters, even for the use of force, but what is interesting is why it matters. It obviously matters more in the UK, where the PM felt he couldn't act without legal authorization and where UK soldiers could be subject...

Today's Wall Street Journal has an interesting, essentially right, but somewhat overbroad editorial ($) on the upcoming Medellin case before the Supreme Court. Medellin, most of you no doubt recall, will consider the domestic legal effect of an International Court of Justice judgment finding the U.S. in violation of its treaty obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. In...

Out here at the University of Missouri-Columbia we are hosting a symposium this weekend (Feb. 25-26), "Reflections on Judging: A Discussion Following the Release of the Blackmun Papers." The line-up of speakers includes judges (Duane Benton, 8th Circuit, Colleen McMahon, SDNY), scholars (Suzanna Sherry, Dan Farber, Ellen Deason, Ted Ruger, Greg Sisk, Larry Wrightsman, Joseph Kobylka, Chris Wells, Martha Dragich,...