WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case pitting President Bush against his home state of Texas.
To put it bluntly, Texas wants Bush to get out of the way of its plan to execute a Mexican for the killing of two teenage girls.
Bush -- who presided over 152 executions as governor of Texas -- wants to halt the execution of Jose Ernesto Medellin.
The case has become a confusing test of presidential power that the Supreme Court ultimately will sort out.
The president wants to enforce a decision by the International Court of Justice.
It found the convictions of Medellin and 50 other Mexican-born prisoners violated their rights to legal help as outlined in the 1963 Vienna Convention.
Texas argues strenuously that neither the international court nor Bush, his Texas ties notwithstanding, has any say in Medellin's case.
Ted Cruz, the Texas solicitor general, says the administration's position would "allow the president to set aside any state law the president believes is inconvenient to international comity."
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