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Message Subject JUST-IN: Obama Backs UN Gun-Control Treaty Superceding 2nd Amendment. UN Plotting to Take Over Internet
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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Wow - this thread is going in tangents....(But WND is about at trustworthy as the National Examiner). My two cents on the thread topic - I don't think a treaty can supersede the Constitution.

Treaty Clause - Article VI, Clause 2 of the US Constitution states -
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 idea that treaties may supersede the Constitution is referred to as the "Dulles doctrine." Secretary of State John Foster Dulles believed that treaties could effectively amend the U.S. Constitution and expand the powers of the federal government without limit.

However, the Supreme Court has never determined if an "unconstitutional" treaty could be enforceable. In fact, in a case which involved an executive agreement (not a treaty), the Supreme Court provides dicta (language) that suggests the opposite. Specifically, in Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957) the Court stated:

There is nothing in this language (Article VI) which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. . . It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights -- let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition -- to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power under an international agreement without observing constitutional prohibitions. In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government, and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and the Senate combined.


US Constitution - [link to www.archives.gov]
Reid v. Covert - [link to www.law.cornell.edu]
 
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