Friday, July 13, 2012

Treaty ratification loophole?

Don pointed out on our show today  (July 13th) the specific language of the U.S. Constitution regarding the ratification of  treaties. Article II, Section 2, paragraph 2 says:
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...
No quorum is specifically referenced in the key passage, no notice requiremetns. Just approval by two thirds of those present.

Might this open the door to some kind of lame duck, late night, recess maneuver to ratify something like the Arms Trade Treaty now being negotiated at the U.N.?

I'd like to know if any other treaties might have been ratified previously under such a maneuver? Even if it hasn't been done before, how might the current U.S. Supreme Court view such a move? Speculation on the answer may vary widely especially after the creative interpretation from the court that allowed the Obamacare individual mandate to stand.

Our discussion of the arms treaty in general began about 38 minutes into the show, Don's pondering of the Constitution's working starts about 41 minutes in. The July 13th Don and Doug program is now available through the On Demand player at

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