In a battle between President George W. Bush and his home state of Texas, waged before the Supreme Court, President Bush lost today.
In a 6-3 decision authored by Bush-appointed Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., the Court ruled in Medellin v. Texas that the President did not have to power to unilaterally order a Texas court to comply with a ruling by the World Court. Bush had made the request in an effort to get a sentencing rehearing for a death row inmate, but Chief Justice Roberts said that the Executive Branch is not vested with the power to do so.
“The executive’s narrow and strictly limited authority to settle international claims disputes pursuant to an executive agreement cannot stretch so far as to support the current presidential memorandum,” Roberts wrote in the opinion. The opinion is here, and more on the case can be found here on CNN.
The Court also ruled that parties cannot negotiate broader judicial review of arbitration agreements than provided under the Federal Arbitration Act in Hall Street Associates v. Mattel. That opinion is here.
In completely unrelated news, the Red Sox won the MLB season opener in Japan – a home crowd for pitcher Daisuke “Dice-K” Matsuzaka. (The start of baseball season is not legal news, but it makes DC Dicta immensely happy).