Wednesday, Nov 15, 2006, 12:24 pm
Texas Court Unanimously Rejects Bush Claim of Authority
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog reports
In a sharp rebuff of a claim of presidential power, Texas' highest state criminal court ruled on Wednesday that President Bush did not have the constitutional authority to tell state courts to apply a decision of the World Court on the rights of foreign nationals arrested and prosecuted in the U.S.
"We hold," the Texas Court of Criminals Appeals said, "that the President has exceeded his constitutional authority by intruding into the independent powers of the judiciary." Relying on the two-century-old doctrine that it is the duty of the courts "to say what the law is," the state court said that power includes interpretation of treaties. "The clear import of this is that the President cannot dictate to the judiciary what law to apply or how to interpret the applicable law."