President George W. Bush had issued an executive order "requiring" Texas to abide by a ruling of the International Court of Justice "mandating" a new trial for a Mexican national on death row. Texas refused arguing that the president had no constitutional or statutory authority for his executive order and, furthermore, Texas courts were not bound by rulings of the ICJ.
A 6-3 majority of the court agreed with Texas and ruled that President Bush had no authority to act without authorization to do so given by Congress or the Constitution. Congress has not passed any law binding American courts to the ICJ and the Constitution certainly doesn't envision our courts bowing down to international courts.
With this decision, Texas was vindicated and despite continued overreaching of the federal government the Supreme Court showed state's rights are still alive and kicking. It also stood up for the rights of Americans to govern themselves and not be subjugated to international tribunals. Score one for the sovereignty of the United States.
Score one also for the Constitution and its design of a government of limited powers. President Bush, as so many presidents before him, sought to act without authority. Many thanks to the Supreme Court for standing up to the Executive Branch and saying no.
Specifically, thanks go to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
Three Justices dissented from this decision. Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and David Souter would have declared the ICJ decision as binding law, enforceable in all courts across the nation. Had the liberals held the majority, they would have placed American courts beneath the judgments of this international body.
Don't forget to consider the potential consequences to the Supreme Court when you cast your ballot for president in November.