Supremes hold off on Mexican's death row appeal
Medellin's was one of 52 cases named in a lawsuit brought against the U.S. by Mexico and decided last year by the UN's International Court of Justice (aka the World Court in the Hague), in which Mexico argued that the U.S. was not complying with the Vienna Convention's consular access provisions. The ICJ ruled in favor of Mexico, which prompted Medellin to renew his claims, which had already been denied by both the state and federal district courts. On Feb. 28, however, about two months after the U.S. Supreme Court accepted Medellin's appeal, President George W. Bush penned an order asking that the "state courts give effect to the [ICJ] decision in accordance with the general principles addressed in that decision." The order prompted Medellin to refile his state appeals and has now prompted the Supremes to put his appeal to the high court on hold. "This state-court proceeding may provide Medellin with the very reconsideration of his Vienna Convention claim that he now seeks," the court wrote.
Meanwhile, a bill that would codify Texas' duty to provide consular access to foreign nationals detained by law enforcement (SB 603, by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston) is still pending before the House Law Enforcement Committee.