The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was defeated today in a 61-38 vote in favor of the deal, five votes short of the needed two-thirds majority.
The accord, which was signed by President Obama and the heads of 126 national governments around the world, would have imposed upon the U.S. a grant of authority on the use of police and other powers to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities” [italics added].
The deal, opposed by both Tennessee legislators in the U.S. Senate, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, would have had the federal government “to adopt all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights” listed in the agreement.
The agreement, full of roaring wind and prolixity, would have been used in your state and mine to enable that class of minders and do-gooders in government office, plus a phalanx of licensed enforcers from the nonprofit and corporate sector, to assail every inconceivable injustice in the name of the disabled. Whereas the common law conception of a right is that it is a liberty and freedom from some external force, the U.N. accord viewed rights as grants of power to impose egalitarian and state control. We already have a sense of this sort of superiority in Chattanooga when federal prosecutor Bill Killian said he will use the federal government to enforce the freedom of religion with police power, insisting Christendom will never conquer the hearts of men.
The Home School Legal Defense Association and many other groups encouraged families to contact their federal senators to request their opposition to the rules. A flood of emails and calls bombarded Senate offices.
It is significant as to the sort of agreement in view. It is a convention, not a treaty. Treaties in Article VI of the federal Constitution are given the power of law domestically, though they arise from the national government’s international and maritime jurisdiction.
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.
Still, though it is a mere convention, the rules would have been vigorously imposed as if it were a treaty.
“A ratified treaty is equal in status to the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes, immediately voiding any contrary state laws or constitutional provisions,” says attorney Michael Farris of the HSLDA. Mr. Farris is among those who believe treaty and convention are legal synonyms.
He warns that backers of the convention will try again to win Senate approval of the plan.