Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Supreme Court Considers Treaty Power

Carol Anne Bond was sentenced to six years in jail for a domestic dispute that never should have been turned into a federal case. After she learned that her husband had an affair with her best friend and was fathering a child with her, Mrs. Bond put some dangerous chemicals on the other woman's doorknob that and that caused a small chemical burn on her thumb.

This sort of domestic crime should have been handled by state courts, as are similar domestic disputes. But aggressive federal prosecutors decided to prosecute Mrs. Bond under the Chemical Weapons Treaty and its Implementation Act. For more than two centuries, family law and domestic disputes have been handled exclusively by state law, not by the federal government and certainly not by treaties. The Constitution does not give Congress any power or authority over disputes between husbands and wives, or between wives and mistresses. But increasingly, foreign treaties are infringing on the right of the American people to govern ourselves at a local level.

Every time the Senate ratifies a foreign treaty, it gives away part of our sovereignty. The Supreme Court held long ago that treaties may be used by Congress to pass laws that Congress otherwise lacks the authority to pass. That's why treaties are very dangerous to our freedom. For example, a U.N. treaty could ban parents from controlling the upbringing of their children, the Senate could ratify the treaty, and then Congress could pass a law to enforce it. The result would be federal infringement on the right of parents to raise their own children, something that would ordinarily be unconstitutional.

In this case, called Bond v. United States, the Supreme Court will reconsider whether foreign treaties should be allowed to interfere so much with our constitutional rights. Let’s hope the Court ends the misuse of treaties to infringe on our sovereignty. Meanwhile, tell your Senator not to ratify any more U.N. treaties.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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