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Medellin v. Texas
No. 06-984
    Jose Ernesto Medellin, Petitioner v. Texas


    Capital Cases, International Law, Presidential Authority, State Courts
    In the Case Concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mex. v. U.S.), I.C.J. No. 128 (judgment of Mar. 31, 2004), the International Court of Justice determined that 51 named Mexican nationals, including petitioner, were entitled to receive review and reconsideration of their convictions and sentences through the judicial process in the United States. On February 28, 2005, President George W. Bush determined that the United States would comply with its international obligation to give effect to the judgment by giving those 51 individuals review and reconsideration in the state courts. However, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that the Presidents determination exceeded his powers, and it refused to give effect to the Avena judgment or the Presidents determination.

    This case presents the following questions:

  1. Did the President of the United States act within his constitutional and statutory foreign affairs authority when he determined that the states must comply with the United States treaty obligation to give effect to the Avena judgment in the cases of the 51 Mexican nationals named in the judgment?

  2. Are state courts bound by the Constitution to honor the undisputed international obligation of the United States, under treaties duly ratified by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, to give effect to the Avena judgment in the cases that the judgment addressed?



    Coming Soon
Counsel of Record

For Petitioner:

Donald Francis Donovan
Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP
New York, NY
For Respondent:
R. Ted Cruz
Solicitor General
Office of the Attorney General
Austin, TX


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