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How to say no to the President? (Medellin v. Texas)

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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SCOTUSblog – How to say no to the President?

The Supreme Court, deeply fascinated with its own role in an interconnected world legal order, spent extra time on Wednesday examining the question of how to say no to the President on a treaty matter and, if it does, to do so without harming the Chief Executive’s power to speak for the nation in the global community. It was apparent that, if the case of Medellin v. Texas (06-984) had come to the Court without presidential involvement, it would have been easy to decide—in fact, the issue in that context may already have been effectively decided last year. But President Bush put his authority at the very center of it, and heavy complications have followed. The Justices’ keen interest in those complications led Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., to let the scheduled one-hour hearing Wednesday run on for an added 26 minutes—an especially rare gesture.