Roger Kimball, at PJ Media, comments on a report that President Obama is forging an international climate treaty without need for Congressional approval. He writes:
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 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 . . .
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" . . . is planning to “sidestep” Congress.
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?
Read the full post.