Doing things the wrong way

From The Washington Times:

Inhofe says gun treaty already ‘dead in the water’

Opponents fear international pact’s fallout
By Guy Taylor

Secretary of State John F. Kerry is set to sign a far-reaching international treaty in New York on Wednesday designed to regulate the international purchase and sale of conventional firearms — despite intense resistance from the American gun lobby and warnings from at least one Republican that the pact will never get ratified in Washington.

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty requires signatories to draw up national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and components and to regulate arms brokers, but drafters insist it will not control the domestic firearms market in any country. It prohibits the transfer of conventional weapons if they violate international arms embargoes or if they go to regimes accused of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

The United States was one of 154 countries who voted in April to approve the final draft of the U.N. pact, with only Syria, Iran and North Korea voting against.

In notifying lawmakers of the plan to proceed forth with signing the treaty, the Obama administration drew harsh criticism from Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, who claimed the treaty is “already dead in the water in the Senate.”

“The administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected U.N. bureaucrats,” Mr. Inhofe said, asserting that his own push against the treaty in March revealed that the Obama administration was far short of the 67 votes needed to ratify the treaty.

More at the link; emphasis mine.

The Constitution of the United States requires that treaties be ratified by a 2/3 majority in the United States Senate; Senator Imhofe noted that 53 Senators, with members from both parties, have already gone on record and voted against this treaty. If that number holds, not only would the treaty not have the constitutionally mandated 2/3 majority for ratification, but wouldn’t even have a simple majority of support in the Senate.

However, there has been a rather long-standing problem with treaties in our country: Presidents have them signed, but don’t submit controversial ones to the Senate for ratification. President Carter never submitted the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty for ratification, but both the Carter and Reagan Administrations adhered to its provisions. President Clinton sent Vice President Gore to sign the abysmal Kyoto Protocols — several months after a sense of the Senate vote of 95-0 told the President that they didn’t support it — but never submitted it for ratification, because he knew it would be defeated. President Bush didn’t support that treaty, but instead of submitting it to the Senate for sure defeat, simply withdrew our signature.1 And now President Obama is having Secretary of State Kerry sign a treaty which he knows cannot be ratified, and will not submit it to the Senate.

The Constitution specifies that ratified treaties are the law of the land, and such a treaty, if it were ratified, would allow the federal government to pass the regulations that the treaty requires, many of which would violate our Second Amendment rights. The Obama Administration will probably use the pretext of this treaty to try to impose such regulations anyway, even though the treaty has not, and will never be, ratified.

The Framers were all good, honest and honorable men; it seems to have been outside their paradigm that the President could be dishonorable enough to sign a treaty and then decline to submit it to the Senate for ratification. Such submission, within a reasonable time frame, ought to be automatic, but, even without that, the Senate ought to be able to, on their own initiative, simply take up the signed treaty for a ratification vote, whether the President submits it or not.

  1. Your Editor criticized President Bush for that maneuver on the old site.


  1. Mr. Editor the only reason you want the president to submit treaties to the senate for ratification is to undermine the first black president. You are a raaaaacist!

  2. Didn’t numerous Afro-American voices proclaim that Bill Clinton was our first black president? I’m certain that’s so, I have a clear memory of happy black faces on TV claiming that a white crook, an accused rapist, was their first black president. He was also the first president impeached since Reconstruction, which opens the door for Barack Obama to be the second black president to be impeached.

  3. Well, yeah ropelight but you’re being technical. Clinton was our first black president until we elected a real life black president. You didn’t see a bunch of Hardcore Pawn types in line for their “Clinton cash”, or in line for their Clintonphones did you? But the minute The One was elected they all felt entitled to their Obamacash and Obamaphones. But in the spirit of fair play let’s just call any leftist Democrat “our black president”.

  4. Those who have read the debates on the Constitution will recall that “Brutus” ( I recalled it as Lansing until I just checked, but it’s probably Yates of New York) predicted exactly the kind of self-defeating constitutional conundrum as posed here.

    He also predicted an aggrandizing Supreme Court, and a consolidation of government over persons having different fundamental interests and values; in a manner which, when effectively realized, would make a mockery of the notion that the resulting system actually embodied the idea of self-government.

    Of course the left both knows this tendency and promotes it, and has thus attempted to propagandistically redefine “self-government” and rights to imply highly collective and even symbolic meanings.

    One of the most blatant ways we’ve seen this done relatively recently is through their suggestions made during the RKBA debates that the right to keep and bear arms was not a right of the people in a distributive sense, but in an imputed sense, as a form of “possession” covered under the rubric of the citizen’s participation in a “republican” form of government.

    Thus, the “right” under their construction, is imputed as being enjoyed by all but actually held by the republic’s delegatees ( the organized militia and police) rather than as possessed distributively and literally.

    Kind of like free speech being restricted to sociology professors. Not that left-wing progressives actually believe in free speech once their use for it is over.

    The left and the law. They complain (picking up a formulation from anti-fundamentalists) that conservatives are always taking the law “literally”.

    Whereas they once moaned over strict construction, now these geniuses in their own minds go further and complain of legal literalism.

    How can one maintain a social agreement with creatures like that?

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