Small government was Re: [extropy-chat] EMP Attack?

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at
Wed Apr 20 20:47:57 UTC 2005

--- Adrian Tymes <wingcat at> wrote:
> --- spike <spike66 at> wrote:
> > I
> > see nothing in the U.S. constitution that gives the federal 
> > government the right to cede any of its sovereignty to any 
> > entity such as the UN.
> Technically, it can - and, arguably, it has to entities such as the
> WTO, although whether the UN counts is arguable.  But the authority
> is
> there in the US Constitution, Article VI Paragraph 2:
> > This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be
> > made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be
> > made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the
> supreme
> > Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound
> > thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the
> > Contrary notwithstanding.
> The critical bit is that treaties are considered equal to the
> Constitution in terms of determining the supreme law.  Thus, the US's
> signature on the treaty establishing the WTO means the US agrees to
> follow the WTO's judgements.

The limiting factor of this being that the Senate cannot validly
confirm treaties which violate the Constitution. For example, "Congress
shall make no law..yadda yadda, the abridgement of free speech",
therefore a treaty that limited the free speech rights of Americans
would be invalid on its face and unratifiable by the US Senate.

Similarly, no treaty can infringe upon my right to keep and bear arms,
to the free practice religion or other creeds, to assemble peacably
(say, to shut down the UN in NY), nor can it violate my right against
self incrimination, etc...

Furthermore, the US government can only delegate powers via treaty that
it itself posesses. If powers or rights are reserved to the states or
to the people, the US Senate has no authority to delegate those.

> I'm not sure whether the text of the treaty establishing the UN gives
> it any authority, but it is technically legally possible for the US
> to cede sovereignty if the President and the Senate are talked into
> doing
> so.  (Thus, rejecting treaties like Kyoto is more than just rejecting
> lip service.  Foreign citizens really could have argued in US courts
> that we were bound by the treaty, and used our law enforcement
> mechanisms to force compliance, even if no other law passed by
> Congress or the states made any mention of the topic.)

Kyoto was signed, but was never ratified. Unless a treaty is ratified
by the Senate, and does not infringe upon the rights it is debarred
from infringing upon itself, then it is nothing but wastepaper. The
amount of violation of property rights, totally shattering the 14th
amendment's protection of corporate persons rights, for example,
required by the Kyoto Treaty were so far beyond the power of the Senate
to approve, that they really had no choice but to vote it down.

Sorry, folks, you aren't going to legislate communism on the back of
environmental protection.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 

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