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International Law Keyed to Damrosche
Medellin v. Texas
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Jose Medellin (D), a Mexican national was found guilty for being part of the gang rape and murder of two teenage girls in Houston. He argued that the state had violated his rights under the Vienna Convention in which the United States is a party. Under the Vienna Convention, any foreign national detained for any crime has a right to contact his consulate.Though his appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court, the Court took up his case again and Medellin (D) argument rested in part on a holding by the International Court of Justice in Case Concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mex v U.S.), 2004 I.C.J. 12 that the U.S. had violated the Vienna Convention rights of 51 Mexican national (including Medellin (D) and that their state-court convictions must be reconsidered, regardless of any forfeiture of the right to raise the Vienna Convention claims because of a failure to follow state rules governing criminal convictions.Based on these, Medellin (D) argued that the Vienna Convention granted him an individual right that state courts must respect. A memorandum from the U.S. President that instructed state courts to comply with the I.C.J’s rulings by rehearsing the cases was also cited by Medellin (D). He further argued that the Constitution gives the President broad power to ensure that treaties are enforced, and that this power extends to the treatment of treaties in state court proceedings.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.