The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Schiavo and Medellin: what is a pandering President to do?

The polls - as this ABC poll - show the Schiavo Circus (ringmastered by genial Tom DeLay) has split the GOP base.

And now, it seems, there's trouble in Texas from a clumsy attempt by Bush to pander to the Hispanic vote:

Various Mexicans were sentenced to death in Texas without access having been granted to consular officials. On February 28,
Bush intervened to say, in effect, that he would take care of the case. Citing his constitutional power to set the nation's foreign policy, he issued a "determination" instructing the Texas courts to comply with the ICJ's ruling by holding a hearing for one of the Mexicans, Jose Ernesto Medellin, a Houston gang member convicted in 1994 of raping and murdering two teenage girls in Houston.

Then the president withdrew the United States from the part of the treaty that gives the ICJ enforcement authority, ensuring that, although Medellin and the 50 other Mexicans would be entitled to relief under his Feb. 28 determination, no similar cases could arise at the ICJ again.

The US Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today (Medellin v Dretke), and Texas is pushing back:
"[T]he claimed authority is all the more extraordinary in that it commandeers state courts and directs them to set aside state criminal statutes in deference . . . to an ICJ decision that the Executive has simultaneously recognized misinterprets U.S. treaty obligations," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote in a brief filed March 15 at the Supreme Court.

Uh, oh...

(I pause to wonder: why should a (I'm assuming) purely cosmetic exercise in favour of murderers be of interest to hard-working, law-abiding Hispanic voters [1]? Doesn't this pander to the Anglo stereotype that Mexicans are all bandits at heart?)

  1. The illegals don't get to vote; or shouldn't...

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