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Anthony J. Bellia

2013

Article III

International Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Law Of Nations As Constitutional Law, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Oct 2013

The Law Of Nations As Constitutional Law, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Anthony J. Bellia

Courts and scholars continue to debate the status of customary international law in U.S. courts, but have paid insufficient attention to the role that such law plays in interpreting and upholding several specific provisions of the Constitution. The modern position argues that courts should treat customary international law as federal common law. The revisionist position contends that customary international law applies only to the extent that positive federal or state law has adopted it. Neither approach adequately takes account of the Constitution’s allocation of powers to the federal political branches in Articles I and II or the effect of these …


The Federal Common Law Of Nations, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Oct 2013

The Federal Common Law Of Nations, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Anthony J. Bellia

Courts and scholars have vigorously debated the proper role of customary international law in American courts: To what extent should it be considered federal common law, state law, or general law? The debate has reached something of an impasse, in part because various positions rely on, but also are in tension with, historical practice and constitutional structure. This Article describes the role that the law of nations actually has played throughout American history. In keeping with the original constitutional design, federal courts for much of that history enforced certain rules respecting other nations' perfect rights (or close analogues) under the …