The Constitution --- Plain and Simple
Curtis W. Caine, MD
We are told at every turn that "treaties supersede the Constitution of The[se] States United" --- nugatory. Here is what Article VI, paragraph 2 actually stipulates on the issue: "...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 [of any State] or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. [Emphasis added.]"
The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution declares: "We the People of the United States...do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union of 1777 had proven so inadequate and imperfect in their ten year life that they were supplanted in 1787 by the Constitution "in Order to form a more perfect Union."
Whereas the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776 is the Charter of These States United, disclosing and proclaiming its purpose and reason for being, the U.S. Constitution of September 17, 1787 is the ByLaws laid down by the States detailing the day-to-day operation assigned to the Union and setting it in motion. The States, the creators of the Union, gave no authority to the central government via the U.S. Constitution for a treaty to be consummated with a foreign nation (1) that would empower treaty functions that they did not allow the U.S. government to have, or (2) that would obligate this Union and its States to do something that is contrary to the U.S. Constitution, or (3) that would transfer functions and activities assigned to the Union to any agency outside of the Union. That's elemental, prima facie, self-evident. So, at the outset, to even entertain the idea that treaties supersede the Constitution is specious.
By Article II, Section 1, paragraph 7, the President is required to swear he will: "...preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Article VI, paragraph 3 requires all Federal and State officers to also swear:"...to support this [U.S.] Constitution..."
Article I, Section 10, paragraph 1 declares: "No State shall enter into any Treaty..."
All civil magistrates are bound by oath to abide by the U.S. Constitution, and nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is any authority given for these United States to be subject to and bound by any earthly piece of paper that abrogates or is alien to the Constitution of the United States. As a matter of fact, Article VI, paragraph 2, the latter half of which is quoted at the outset above, in its first half, says only three (3) pronouncements are "the supreme Law of the Land":
(1) "THIS [the U.S.] Constitution," (2) "the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof" (i.e., as permitted by, in conformity with, and to implement this Constitution), and (3) "all treaties made....under the Authority of the United States" ("under" designates that treaties are not over, not above, and not even equal to the authority of the United States granted to it by the States via the U.S. Constitution - but remain under, inferior to its jurisdiction).
A treaty may not do or exceed what the Congress is charged to do or what it is forbidden to do. Constitutional authority supersedes, overrules, and precludes any contrary treaty authority.
Thus, if a proposed treaty would violate any provision of the Constitution, it may not even be seriously considered or debated, much less be ratified and implemented because the same restrictions that were placed by the Constitution on the U.S. Federal government are also imposed on any treaty provision.
Treaty embroilment is so dangerous and so important, that to further limit and restrict their making, Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 2 orders that 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; [Emphasis added.]"
This provision accomplishes two things: 1) it prohibits the President alone to commit the United States to an agreement with other nations (the Senate must advise, consent, concur, and ratify). And 2), why is the Senate singled out, and not the House of Representatives, or both Houses? Because the Senate is the branch of the Congress whose Senators' constituencies are not "my people back home," but "my State government back home."(1)
Before the destabilizing Seventeenth Amendment was deceptively promoted and irrationally ratified in 1913, each State Legislature appointed its Senators. A Senator is sent to Washington to uphold, defend, represent, and guard the retained rights, jurisdiction, and interests of his individual State. If a proposed treaty would adversely effect the States, their Senators are to protect their respective States by not consenting/ratifying.
Treaties are potentially so threatening to the sovereignty of the individual States and the Union of These States that two thirds of the Senators are required to be convinced that the treaty under consideration does not contravene the U.S. Constitution and/or adversely impact on the retained functions and interests of the States before they consent/ratify.
In 1789, the States directly ratified the Constitution --- as per Article VII. Since then, the States through their representatives (their Senators) must also ratify any treaty --- Article II, Section 2, paragraph 2 --- for the same reason, namely, that the creators (the States) must have the final say.
There is a pecking order: God made People, People made States, States made the Union. Therefore, the Union is beholden to the States, the States are beholden to the People, and all three are beholden to God.
Further, Article VI, paragraph 2 quoted above commands that if and when all of the above requirements for a treaty are met --- that is, a) it does not contradict the Constitution; b) it is negotiated by the President who has sworn to not violate, and who in fact is not violating the Constitution; and c) it is ratified by two thirds of the State-defending-Senators who have sworn to not violate, and who do not by their vote violate the Constitution --- then, and only then, may the treaty in question go into full force and effect for the Union and for all of the individual States in the Union. This latter consequence is the reason for Article VI, paragraph 2 to conclude:
"...and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the [not "this"] Constitution [ of any State] or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. [Emphasis added.]"
So, the Judges in each State must obey a bona fide treaty, even if the treaty is contrary to that state's Constitution or contrary to any law of that state.
Thus, a properly/legally concluded U.S. treaty overrules any STATE law and any STATE Constitution, but a properly/legally framed U.S. treaty does not, may not, can not, and is forbidden to overrule the U.S. Constitution or abrogate the Sovereignty of the United States. If it does, it is not bona fide. It is a usurpation. It is not "under the Authority of the United States" to make such a treaty.
Ergo, treaties ("made, or which shall be made") that violate the U.S. Constitution by subjugating the United States to an outside power ARE PROHIBITED, of no effect, and thus, null and void.
For a Senator to violate his sworn oath is perjury, a felony, an impeachable offense.
Since treaties are compacts between/among " the powers of the earth" of "separate and equal station" as stipulated in the Declaration of Independence, treaties may not be consummated with other than sovereign nations.
Consequently, for at least these two reasons --- 1) because the U.S. Senate in 1945 ratified the United Nations (UN) Charter as a treaty and the UN is not a sovereign nation, and 2) because membership in the UN makes the U.S. inferior to the UN --- U.S. "membership" in the United Nations is unconstitutional, FORBIDDEN, and thus declared null and void. Ditto for the World Court and the nebulous entanglements of the New World Order.
Thomas Jefferson was clear on this point: "If the treaty power is unlimited, then we don't have a Constitution. Surely the President and the Senate cannot do by treaty what the whole government is interdicted from doing in any way." Alexander Hamilton agreed: "a treaty cannot be made which alters the Constitution of the country or which infringes any express exceptions to the power of the Constitution of the United States."(2)
In spite of all of the obvious above, some people doggedly insist that "treaties supersede the Constitution" because they want treaties to supersede the Constitution so they can escape the chains of the Constitution! And they plan and scheme relentlessly toward achieving that end. Some even boast of having made an end run around the Constitution.
At its conception and inception, America was founded as a Constitutional Republic under the Rule of Law. In a Republic, law prevails until changed as per a stipulated process, even if a majority of, or 150 percent of the Congress, or 200 percent of the people vote otherwise. (Don't giggle: LBJ was "elected" to Congress with 110 percent of all of the issued ballots in his Texas district "cast" for him!)
But, the U.S. has been traitorously transformed into a socialist (tyrannic) democracy by and of lawless men. Thus, the stipulations and safeguards of the Constitution have been repeatedly circumvented, eroded, and nullified by majority rule.
The resultant tyranny and humiliation under which we now suffer will only continue and intensify until enough citizens read the Constitution, become cognizant that it is being continually violated, realize that freedom from despotism is a personal do-it-yourself project ("George" hasn't and isn't going to do it), and determine to get personally involved to return American to its Constitutional boundaries.
Let each of us accept that responsibility, determine to put the Constitution
back into full force and effect, and get on with that patriotic job. If
not us, who? If not now, when? The satisfaction that comes from doing what
is right, though hard work, makes it fun. Join the enjoyment!
1. Caine C. The seventeenth amendment. Medical Sentinel 1996;2(1):32-33.
2. Thomas Jefferson quoted from his Manual of Parliamentary Practice and Alexander Hamilton from The Federalist Papers cited by Hoar WP. Treaties vs the constitution --- which law is supreme. The New American 1995;11(7):55.
Dr. Caine is an anesthesiologist in Jackson, Mississippi, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Medical Sentinel.