Thursday, June 29, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Given the Hamdan decision today (which I haven’t had time to really digest, and hence the lack of commentary from me at this moment in time) and the discussion of the Geneva Conventions within the majority opinion, I expect that there will be some out there who will think that SCOTUS have dived into the waters of making decisions based on international law rather than American law.

However, I would note the following from Article VI of the Constitution of the United States of American which notes (in what is know as the “Supremacy Clause”):

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

So, whatever else one may think of the decision, it should be duly noted that it is wholly within the purview of the Court to interpret the way by which treaties signed and ratified are to be applied to US policy.

I suspect I will have more to say later.

In the meantime, the whole decision can be found here [PDF].

And James Joyner has a massive post on the subject here.

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2 Responses to “The Supremacy Clause and Hamdan

  • el
  • pt
    1. The Moderate Voice Says:

      What does “Constitutional” really mean? The devil is in the details

      Dr. Steven Taylor at PoliBlog makes an important point regarding the Hamden decision by the Supr…

    2. Jon Swift Says:

      Declare Supreme Court Justices Enemy Combatants

      In the Article of the Constitution that gives the President the power to designate enemy combatants there is nothing that explicitly protects members of the Supreme Court from being declared enemy combatants.

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