International Law Cannot Apply to U.S. States

Cal Thomas | Syndicated Columnist | Wednesday, April 09, 2008

International Law Cannot Apply to U.S. States

March 31, 2008

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck a blow for American law. In a 6-3 decision with Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the majority, the court said that international law does not apply to individual states unless Congress takes additional steps and says it does.

The case involved a Mexican national convicted of a gang rape and murder in Houston. Contrary to U.S. treaty obligations, American authorities failed to notify Mexican diplomats or tell him of his right to contact his consulate after he was arrested.

However unfair this may seem, the left has for years tried to use international law and even the laws of other nations to take precedence over American law. Had the plaintiff won his case, it might have made us even more vulnerable to what other nations would like to do to us, much of which is not pleasant.

President Bush claimed authority to order compliance with the world court order as part of his foreign policy responsibilities. That authority the court said he did not have.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.