Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, September 22, 2019

A unilateral amendment of the Constitution

By Lee Presser | Jul 21, 2015


Recently, the Obama Administration negotiated a treaty with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The treaty is designed to significantly limit Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions.

The Obama Administration claims this treaty is not a treaty and it does not plan to submit the document to the Senate for ratification. But a rose by any other name is still a rose and a treaty by any other name is a treaty.

Treaties are not made by one branch of government. Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 2, of the U.S. Constitution describes the process by which the United States Government enters into a treaty with a foreign government.

He (the President) shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

Presidents are required under the Constitution to gain the agreement of two-thirds of the Senate before the agreement is ratified and becomes American law. But the Obama Administration has turned the process on its head. It asserts Congress cannot reject the deal unless two-thirds vote to approve. This is a unilateral amendment of the Constitution.

Either this signed document is a private agreement between Mr. Barack Obama and the Iranian negotiators or it is an agreement between the Untied States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran, a Treaty.

A Treaty is a formal agreement, league, or contract between two or more nations or sovereigns, formally signed and solemnly ratified by the supreme power of each state. Treaties are of various kinds, as for regulating trade, for forming alliances, offensive and defensive, for making peace etc.: (b) the document embodying such an agreement. (Pg. 1944, Webster’s Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged Second Edition)

The People, the Sovereign power of the United States, are being denied due process of law. In Illinois, the People’s voice is represented by two Senators. After listening to the voice of the People, those Senators (who are by law vested with the power to say yes or no to approve a treaty) must approve in the name of the People or the document is automatically rejected.

Under the administration’s theory of the Constitutional process, the People of Illinois have had their rights turned upside-down.

Those who point to past examples of bad behavior by previous Presidents (as reasoning why this President should not follow the Constitution) are making excuses. As citizens, we (and the excuse makers) have an obligation and a vested interest in our government following the law.

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