Do you remember this bit from the Constitution of the United States?
[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; . . .
That’s the so-called “Treaty Clause” from Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution. It is one of several checks on executive power thoughtfully provided by the Founders but flouted by the Golfer-in-Chief currently occupying the White House.
Can’t get two-thirds of the Senate to approve a bit of Green Legislation you favor? No problem! Just pretend that the United States of America is subject not to its Constitution but to the transnational organization of gangsters, kleptocracies, and Third-World dictatorships known as the Untied Nations.
Sound extreme? We can talk about the composition of the Untied Nations another time. But when it comes to Barack Obama’s cavalier treatment of the Constitution, you need look no further than this morning’s New York Times. Under the headline “Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty,” the paper explains how the president, frustrated by Congress’s unwillingness to barter away U.S. sovereignty by signing on to the so-called “Kyoto Protocol,” the economy blighting climate standards devised by Greenies and other folks eager to hamstring the world’s most productive economies, especially the Untied States, is planning to “sidestep” Congress.
It’s written in soporific journalese, but it is an explosive story:
The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.
In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.
To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions.
I’ve highlighted a few passages for special consideration. I invite you to ponder in particular the conjunction of these two nuggets: 1.) “under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate”; and 2. “To sidestep that requirement, . . . .” In other words, even the New York Times is onto the extra-Constitutional, i.e., the illegal, activities of the Obama administration. Do they care? Do you?
The proposed “deal,” as the Times goes on to say, “is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.”