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The Place of Foreign Treaties in the Courts of the United States: A Reply to Louis Henkin

Peter Westen
Harvard Law Review
Vol. 101, No. 2 (Dec., 1987), pp. 511-523
DOI: 10.2307/1341265
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1341265
Page Count: 13
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The Place of Foreign Treaties in the Courts of the United States: A Reply to Louis Henkin
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Abstract

A policeman orders an innocent person, Cort, to submit to arrest. Cort knows that the policeman's order is unlawful under the state law governing arrests. He also knows that state law provides that it is no defense to a charge of resisting an arrest by a police officer to show that the arrest was illegal. With respect to the state's view of legal validity, which is the "higher" law - the state law regarding arrests, or the policeman's order? Which of the two mandates is Cort legally obligated to follow?

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