Intro to Law
US Attorney General Eric Holder to the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee
The Medellín v. Texas case has brought to issue not only the United States relationship with the International Court of Justice and the global community at large, but also the United States government's relationship amongst itself and with the sovereign states of the Union. It is the Senates responsibility today to determine the most effective and just solution to the ever-growing dilemma that is the United States foreign relations, specifically within the realm of justice and legality. It is the U.S. Attorney General's responsibility not only to defend the United States government, but to also provide insight into the relationship between our system of government and the legal systems that exist both within our nation and the global community. The three topics to be addressed concern the former presidents memorandum and standing view of his constitutional power to enforce treaty commitments at the state level, the legal implications that will arise if the United States appear to ignore the International Court of Justice's decision and the potential problems that will be faced on the state level that may invalidate treaty commitments in favor of domestic concern.
If the United States of America appear to be ignoring the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) decisions, not only will they appear to be ignorant but the United States Government as a whole will appear to be ignorant, each circumstance having consequences of its own. In the latter case, the United States government will be essentially invalidating the ICJ's authority and, in addition, will appear to be placing itself above international laws and treaties, despite its participation and efforts to formulate the ICJ and bring about the treaties, courts and laws that it would be ignoring. Both of these cases would share the same adverse affects on the global community. They would first confirm the already existing view that the United States considers itself to be the supreme authority in the world, both practically in foreign affairs and wars and legally in establishing but not always adhering to international laws and treaties. Secondly, this would encourage other countries to ignore and disregard both the validity and authority of the ICJ but also the purpose and power of the UN and ICJ themselves, throwing away years of effort and collaboration to bring about justice throughout the worlds legal systems and forms of government. In the case of the former, if the United States of America do not respect or validate the power of the federal government, both legislative and executive, in matters of international law and the legality and executability of treaties and laws agreed to by the representative bodies and entities established and formed by the states themselves, a number of problems will follow. First of all, the image of the United States government, in its capacity to maintain order and civility amongst its citizens and states, would be severely tarnished. This would serve to make the U.S. Government appear weak in the eyes of other countries, which itself has further negative implications and potential problems areas. It would open the doors for future damages and disputes in areas of social, economical, legal and personal areas, caused by the lack of respect of or perceived authority in the United States government. In addition, it has the potential to cause other countries to follow suit in both weakening the view of foreign governments in the eyes of their constituents and in encouraging the disrespect and invalidation of international laws and treaties because of the US's ignoring of them. In other words, it would establish the mindset if the United States, the self-proclaimed land of justice and democracy, can do it, so can we. Overall, there exist many potential conflicts and adverse affects and